West must help vaccinate Africa's healthworkers now, says Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron takes part in an Online G7 meeting, in Paris, France February 19, 2021. Thibault Camus/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) – Europe and the United States should without delay send enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to Africa to inoculate the continent’s healthcare workers or risk losing influence to Russia and China, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.

Macron said Africa needed 13 million doses to vaccinate all its healthworkers, a milestone that would help protect healthcare services.

“If we announce billions today to supply doses in 6 months, 8 months, a year, our friends in Africa will, under justified pressure from their people, buy doses from the Chinese and the Russians,” Macron told the Munich Security Conference.

“And the strength of the West will be a concept, and not a reality.”

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