The approach adopted by Russia and China, which provides a lifeline to desperate governments around the world, is “propaganda” according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Sharing vaccines with the world is “a means of aggressive propaganda and diplomacy,” Le Drian said.
The French official highlighted the UN COVAX program as a viable alternative to vaccines from non-Western countries, but many governments, including Morocco, continue to rely on Russia, China and India to provide them with vaccines. .
The Western approach, which Politico has described as “America first” and “Europe first”, has led Western countries to quickly outperform the rest of the world in terms of vaccination rates. It looks like the rest of the world is expected to line up to receive documents for the COVAX program which aims to distribute 337 million doses in the first half of 2021.
With billions of people awaiting vaccinations, Russia and China are “filling the gaps” in what French President Emmanuel Macron has called a “new kind of world war.”
For most countries around the world, Russia and China are the only viable sources of vaccines.
Low- and middle-income countries in particular have had to wait while the world’s richest countries use their influence over pharmaceutical vaccine companies to keep vaccines in the West.
Dozens of countries are now using vaccines produced in China and Russia, including some European countries.
Morocco faces the same dilemma as many countries around the world. The government has chosen to find its own vaccine supply from the east instead of depending solely on programs like COVAX. However, Morocco is “at the mercy” of vaccine-producing countries according to Dr Mustapha Ennaji, who is part of the council responsible for overseeing Morocco’s vaccination campaign.
Ennaji told Morocco World News that vaccine hoarding could mean Morocco’s supply of Anglo-Swedish Oxford / Astrazeneca vaccine could be threatened, prompting the country to diversify its supply using vaccines produced in China and Russia.