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'We can't be silent in the face of vaccine apartheid' - Archbishop Makgoba

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Vaccine activists, under the banner of the Covid-19 People's Coalition (C19PC), took to the streets demanding urgent vaccine rollouts for everyone.
Vaccine activists, under the banner of the Covid-19 People's Coalition (C19PC), took to the streets demanding urgent vaccine rollouts for everyone.
Brenton Geach
  • Archbiship Thabo Makgoba says South Africans can't be silent in the face of "vaccine apartheid".
  • Vaccine activists, under the banner of the Covid-19 People's Coalition (C19PC), took to the streets on Thursday demanding urgent vaccine rollouts for everyone.
  • The group demanded that vaccine supplies should be increased so that there are enough for everyone in the country.


Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba has urged pharmaceutical companies and rich governments to reconsider hoarding vaccines and make them freely available to the general public.

Makgoba was speaking at an online conference, while activists were taking to the streets to protest over vaccine availability in South Africa.

According to Makgoba, activists under the banner of the Covid-19 People's Coalition (C19PC) are demanding urgent vaccine rollouts for everyone, in order to achieve population immunity.

"I want to say to those companies and governments that are hoarding (vaccines) in the high-income countries to please look into your hearts (and make the vaccines available)," he urged.

"You can't equate human life to dollars, euros and profit," he added.

READ | Secrecy, corruption and failure: Govt's vaccine rollout plans raise the ire of opposition parties

On Thursday, the Covid-19 People's Coalition staged protests outside pharmaceutical companies in Cape Town and Johannesburg to put the spotlight on big pharma monopolies.

The group demanded that vaccine supplies should be increased so that there are enough vaccines for everyone in the country.

C19PC told News24 that they had handed over memorandums to Aspen and Johnson & Johnson, while Pfizer had refused to accept their memorandum.

Makgoba pleaded with the pharmaceutical companies to increase the production of vaccines for African countries.

"We can't be silent in the face of vaccine apartheid," Makgoba added.

Dr Lydia Cairncross, from the People's Health Movement South Africa, said that it was cruel for pharmaceutical companies to deny members of the public vaccine access when some had selflessly volunteered to participate in the vaccine trials.

The pharmaceutical companies could not be reached for comment. Their responses will be added once received.


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