“Protecting the highest priority groups, including all health workers, older adults, and those with underlying medical conditions, must remain our urgent and immediate focus, to prevent severe disease, save lives, and safeguard essential health services,” said Dr.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “We strongly support the proposal from South Africa and India for a temporary waiver of intellectual property

rights under the TRIPS agreement for the duration of the pandemic. The flexibilities in the TRIPS agreement are there to be used in emergencies. If not now, then when?

With new variants of COVID-19 inevitable, the hybrid event brought new financial commitments – including Dr. Atul Gawande, USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health, announcing $33.3 million in extra aid to Nigeria to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination via Global VAX in coordination with COVAX.

“Under the drumbeat of war and with shifting geopolitical sands, now is the moment for Africa to stand together and fight to save every life, fight to protect health workers and fight to strengthen health systems,” said Dr Ayoade Alakija. “This Summit is about smashing the colonialism we’ve seen in this pandemic and breaking bottlenecks that are prolonging the pandemic and hammering home the truth that all lives are and must be treated with equal worth.”

There were also clear recommendations for all efforts to be made to speed up the development of local production, including calls for international health groups to commit to sourcing health technologies from Africa and for discussion around a temporary TRIPS waiver to be concluded quickly.

“Today, almost 55% of the world has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. In Africa, only about 12% of people have been fully immunised, in part because of late and unpredictable access to vaccines. Meanwhile, six out of seven Covid-19 cases go undiagnosed amid a lack of access to testing on the continent,” said Tian Jonhnson, Lead

– African Alliance. We call on the African Union, G7, and other leaders to urgently agree to a fully funded roadmap to deliver on the WHO goal of fully vaccinating 70% of people globally by mid-2022. The roadmap should be based on a comprehensive global manufacturing and distribution plan for the vaccines and all COVID-19 products and technologies. This plan must also include a regular public reporting mechanism — with meaningfully civil society oversight.