I receive Gates’ email. He recommends books and talks about climate change. I take it with a grain of salt. His latest email talk about how people in the developing nations / global south need the vaccine. The “unequal vaccine rollout” means that 84.3% of vaccines go to upper-middle- and high-income countries.
The Presidents of Ghana, Tanzania and Burundi rejected the mainstream narrative and the WHO’s advice. As as result of these and other factors, many Africans choses not to take the shots and the vaccine had to be incinerated when expired (see article below). So were there mass deaths in Africa as a result, above the normal baseline? If so, we’ve not heard of it.
In fact, roughly 50 nations have missed a target set by the WHO. You can see a map of the least and most vaccinated countries here.
Many do not want the Covid vaccine and see it as an imposition by pharmaceutical corporations who do not have their best interests in mind (see story below). For instance, the province of Uttar Pradesh, India, with 240 million people, opted for lower-cost Ivermectin, which worked and had fewer negative side effects. There was a 97.1 percent drop in Covid cases there.
Here is Gates’ email below, which betrays a colonial concern for the Third World.
He has heeded Kipling’s poem, Take Up the White Man’s Burden:
Take up the White Man’s burden—
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain.
To seek another’s profit,
And work another’s gain.
“Many Westerners have been shocked by how much faster COVID-19 vaccines reached people in rich countries than in poor countries. But to many of the leaders I get to talk to around the world—especially those in low- and middle-income countries—the lag time was nothing new. It usually takes years, even decades, for a medical advance to become widely available in the developing world.
“This is a problem that our foundation has been working on for years. In my view, the situation with COVID-19 vaccines is unacceptable—just 2 percent of people in low-income countries have received even one dose—and it is also better than virtually any other public-health campaign ever.
“What that means is that there is progress, and we can build on progress. In my latest Gates Notes post, I write about how we can learn from the COVID-19 experience and close the gap even faster next time. It’s a complex subject, and the post is long, but writing it helped me clarify my own thinking. I hope you’ll give it a read.”
by Rasna Warah, June 21, 2021
African governments have been urging rich countries to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to their citizens. But some countries on the continent are either returning the vaccines or destroying them, a scenario that indicates significant weaknesses in both the supply and demand side of mass vaccination programmes. Vaccines are going to waste in some African countries because there isn’t sufficient uptake; in others, the vaccines cannot be used because they have expired.
Last month, for example, Malawi incinerated 19,610 expired doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to assure Malawians that the government was not using unsafe vaccines. Uptake of COVID-19 vaccines has been generally low in Malawi. Of the 102,000 vaccine doses that the country received from the African Union’s Africa Vaccination Acquisition Task Team in March, only 80% were used.
Similarly, South Sudan recently announced that it would be destroying 60,000 doses of the vaccine because it was unable to use them before the expiry date of 13 April …
South Sudan, Africa’s youngest country, also has infrastructure and human resource deficits that it has been unable to fill due to prolonged conflicts, which have severely impacted the country’s ability to roll out the vaccine. It simply does not have sufficient health facilities and trained healthcare workers who can administer the vaccine safely.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), another conflict-ridden but resource-rich country, has also announced that it cannot use most of the 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine it received under the COVAX scheme, which are set to expire on 24 June. The unused vaccines are now being sent to Ghana, Togo, the Central African Republic, Angola, and Madagascar. Low uptake of the vaccine in DRC, with a population of 90 million, has been attributed to the country’s weak health systems and poor transport networks, which have hampered distribution in remote areas.
But reluctance to be vaccinated is also a roadblock in the DRC. A study commissioned by the African Centres for Disease Control (CDC) on COVID-19 perceptions in 15 African countries found that only 59% of respondents in the DRC were willing to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Vaccine hesitancy has proved to be a particular challenge in many African countries, including among healthcare workers. In the Africa CDC survey, 20% of the respondents said that they would not get vaccinated. The study revealed that across most of the African countries surveyed, respondents tended to view COVID-19 vaccines as less safe than other vaccines. In addition, more than half of the respondents felt that the threat from the coronavirus was exaggerated and that it did not pose a significant health risk.
. . . The AstraZeneca vaccine that is being rolled out under COVAX has a shelf life of just six months, which means it has to be administered quickly. While mass vaccination programmes, such as those for polio, have generally been successful in many African countries, the urgency and nature of the current pandemic have left many African governments unprepared. John Nkengasong, head of the Africa CDC, compares it to building a ship while riding it at the same time.