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Africa Needs to Do More to Position Itself to Benefit From Future Covid-19 Vaccines

Never before has the public had an opportunity to see, in glaring detail, the difference good governance makes. As Covid-19 spreads across the globe, we witness how different leaders address the same crisis. Some have the skills, qualities and appetite required to best guide their countries through the crisis, while others demonstrate their incompetence on a near-daily basis.

In addressing the threat of a highly contagious respiratory virus like SARS-CoV-2, there are basic approaches that can slow the spread of the pandemic and eventually end it. This includes testing, quarantining, physical distancing, avoiding large crowds, wearing masks and, when available, widespread uptake of safe and effective vaccines.

Great wealth does not ensure that a nation will successfully implement these strategies.

The United States, the richest nation in the world, has failed to adequately respond to the pandemic, and in doing so has one of the highest Covid-19 death rates in the world – 540 deaths per million people – with total deaths currently standing at 181,000 people. This figure accounts for over 20% of all Covid-19 deaths worldwide.

Contrast the American experience to other countries: South Africa stands at 214 deaths per million people; Norway at 49; New Zealand at…

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