US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, which was discovered in South Africa, underscores the point that “none of us will be fully safe until everyone is. Speaking in Riga, Latvia, during a two-day meeting of the NATO foreign ministers, Blinken also noted a real disparity between vaccinations in Africa and the United States and Europe.
We have vaccination rates in the United States, in Europe of 50, 60, 70%, depending on exactly who you’re counting. And in Africa, it’s more like 14, 15% or less. He noted that sometimes the supply of vaccines may actually be sufficient to meet the needs, but the ability to get shots in arms is lacking.
He said the United States was working on a solution that brings the private sector into the game to help solve these last-mile problems of getting shots and arms. We’re putting that into into motion now.