Resolved to mitigate the economic and social effects of COVID-19 pandemic, experts and health advocates have urged world leaders to take action to vaccinate the world against the deadly virus.

During a Vaccinate Our World (VOW) Pan African virtual panel discussion held recently and hosted by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the need for collaborations among world leaders, particularly vaccinating citizens and stopping the spread of COVID-19 was stressed.

AHF is transferring know-how learnt from the fight against HIV to the war against coronavirus.

One of the discussions centred around morals gained through the wavering of intellectual property around antiretrovirals (ART) therapy for HIV infection as well as removing technical regulation information system (TRIS) and transferring tech and know-how for better management of vaccines and reducing the threat of the pandemic.

The experts noted that the war against COVID-19 could use research facilities already available in Africa that would help with real-time action today.

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Overstocking of vaccines by countries in the developed world was questioned. In addition, vaccine-hoarding countries were asked to reveal their plans to get their surplus vaccines to the developing world.

The Bureau Chief of AHF Africa, Dr. Penninah Lutung, warned that if the whole world was not vaccinated, Africa, along with all developing countries, runs the risk of becoming a breeding ground for new variants.

Salient point of genomics was raised, an important means of studying and understanding the mutation and evolution of COVID-19 and the consequent effect on vaccines. Also, individuals and organisations are requested to pledge their support to rid the world of COVID-19.

The panelists included: Executive Director of KELIN, Allan Maleche; Professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics and Director of African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Professor Christian Happi; Vice President of the South African Medical Research Council, Professor Jeffrey Mphahlele; and the Executive Director of Ntethelelo Foundation in Johannesburg: Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year in activism category 2018, Thokozani Ndaba,