Inside Story

Will COVID-19 vaccines divide rich and poor nations?

African Union criticises EU for its slow vaccine delivery and failing to recognise Indian-made AstraZeneca shots.

As countries ramp up immunizations against COVID-19, the United States and European Union are among those reopening for tourism.

However, millions of people across Africa are still waiting for their first jabs.

The African Union’s COVID-19 envoy strongly criticised Europe for failing to deliver the doses it promised. Much of Africa relies on Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccines called Covishield.

But those shots, along with Russian and Chinese-made vaccines, are not recognised by the EU’s new vaccine passport for travel.

So will this create a “vaccine curtain” separating rich and developing nations?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Dr John Nkengasong – director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr Gloria Taliani – professor of infectious disease, Sapienza University of Rome

Max Lawson – head of inequality policy at Oxfam International