Ensuring adequate protection from COVID-19 for the youth and beyond is fundamental to securing livelihoods and catalyzing prosperity of the African continent. To date, millions of Africans have contracted COVID-19 and more than 100,000 have lost their lives. At the same time, a sharp economic downturn has left countries struggling with mass loss of income, food insecurity, reduced access to health services, and a looming debt crisis. Equitable rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the African continent is essential to curbing further health and economic devastation. As of mid-March 2021, 25 million vaccines had been distributed across 38 African countries, and more than 7 million doses had been administered. However, vaccine shortage, hesitancy, and supply chain weaknesses remain significant challenges in many countries.
This panel will explore what vaccine equity looks like on the African continent. Discussions will center on supply chain innovations, the role of global partnerships in driving equity, and country best practices to increase vaccine access and demand. Panelists will also explore the role of African youth in stemming vaccine misinformation, and discuss broader lessons from the pandemic for African health policymakers.
Objective of Session
By bringing together leading African policymakers, experts, and business leaders in these sectors, this session aims to explore what it takes to achieve COVID-19 vaccine equity in Africa and to discuss the role of community-based and youth-led approaches to building vaccine confidence and tackling hesitancy. Panelists will also discuss broader lessons from the pandemic for African health policymakers.