Gaborone — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi says he is opposed to the conduct and behaviour of countries which hoard COVID-19 vaccines.
"Not only am I concerned, I am deeply disturbed because this behaviour ought to be condemned in the strongest of terms," he stated in an interview with Bloomberg following his recent two-day working visit to Tanzania.
He said hoarding vaccines undermined multilateralism, commitment to global peace and security as well as humanity in the face of COVID-19 which had sharply divided the world.
Dr Masisi said for the promotion of equitable distribution of essential humanizing vaccines, it was important that nations submitted to shared values.
He said the challenge could be addressed through measures such as sharing of intellectual property rights, actual vaccines and skills.
"This is an existential need of the human race," he said.
President Masisi pointed out that the country's strategy to reopen the economy depended on a successful vaccination programme and if it could get the needed vaccines, it would achieve herd immunity within a relatively short period.
Luckily, he said, the country's population was ready and wanting to be vaccinated.
The President said Botswana was a willing partner to those willing to try out a COVID-19 vaccination success story adding that the country had the necessary will, capability, skills and resources to distribute the vaccine fairly, equitably and rapidly.
Dr Masisi further informed Bloomberg that government had reset its priorities to make defeating coronavirus the number one priority.
Botswana, like all other developing countries, was procuring vaccines both through the COVEX facility and direct procurement and as soon a a consignment arrived, it was rolled out based on risk and age category, he explained.
The President further pointed out that his delegation had shared with Tanzania authorities its COVID-19 strategy.
Source : BOPA