Hundreds of people line up on the football stadium in the huge city of Abidjan. Everything is done quickly and well. First, people sit outside with a digital card. Then they are summoned, and their temperature is taken before they are allowed in. In just 48 hours, a huge, air-conditioned tent was constructed where nurses sat in long rows of small vaccination stalls.
– I’m very satisfied, actually happy, says Eric Cyril Saffy to SVT. He is self-employed and is one of the first to line up to get the vaccine. He was not worried about getting the injection.
No, on the contrary, I am now urging all relatives and friends to get vaccinated as well.
But health care experts report widespread biases against the vaccine. Rumors are circulating on social media that the vaccine is part of the country’s secretive agenda to alter people’s DNA or make them infertile. To connect with the reassuring news, ministers in both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire were vaccinated first and foremost in front of TV cameras.
Sweden is one of around 30 countries that have funded 500,000 doses of the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine that has reached the Ivory Coast.
But the number of doses that the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) have so far managed to collect in African countries is very small.
There is widespread criticism that 14 of the world’s richest countries have seized more than half of the world’s vaccination doses. One example of this is the United Kingdom, which bought 407 million doses over the next two years, despite only having 67 million people. Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to donate the rest to developing countries at a later time.
A fair distribution is crucial
It made WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus go to the surface. Without mentioning the UK, he recently said that “just because you have the money doesn’t mean you can use your money to buy vaccines”.
The fair distribution of the vaccine is very important to prevent the emergence of new mutations in countries that do not have vaccination protection.
According to the World Health Organization, 70 percent of the world’s citizens must be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity, preferably within a year.