President Kenyatta blames developed countries for COVID vaccine ‘apartheid'
President Uhuru Kenyatta has faulted developed countries manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for what he terms as hoarding of the much-needed doses to the disadvantage of other countries.
The Head of State described the situation as 'vaccine apartheid' noting that while some African countries have only managed to vaccinate less that 5% of their population with a single dose, other nations have already administered both doses and are now injecting their citizens with a third booster dose.
“It has been vaccine apartheid. How else can you describe it when you have developed countries; owners of the vaccines and factories, hoarding the vaccines... injecting their people not only with the two injections but also with a third booster injection and yet most of our countries are well below 5% who have received even one single dose," said Kenyatta.
"You may call it what you want but basically that is denying billions of people access. You may call it exclusion, apartheid but it ultimately means denying access."
President Kenyatta was speaking on Citizen TV’s JKL show in New York, where he chaired a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on diversity, state building and peace.
He pointed out that despite African countries pooling resources to purchase COVID vaccines at lower prices there were still challenges of accessing the vaccines.
"This tells us that the same way we got together to take advantage of buying we need to come together to start manufacturing vaccines for our won people so that we are not depending on others to supply us," said Kenyatta as he reiterated the need for African unity.
In the interview, President Kenyatta also outlined his agenda for the meeting with US President Joe Biden.
He said the meeting provides an opportunity for a further reestablishment of the strong ties between Kenya and the US, to strengthen economic and security cooperations.
“And also to see how we can strengthen our trade and investment linkages for the mutual benefit of our two nations. So these are just some of the issues I would hope to continue to pursue with President Biden as we have done with previous administrations," he said.