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Africa: Coronavirus

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL14964, tabled on 15 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the scale of COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud in Africa.

Answered on

29 April 2021

The UK is providing £548 million to the COVAX initiative, which enables equitable access to vaccines. COVAX is led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which works closely with governments and other development partners to ensure robust governance and programme management measures are in place to deliver vaccines. The UK has zero tolerance for corruption, which extends to the roll-out of vaccines. In recognition of the increased risks associated with COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud, Gavi is supporting additional measures to strengthen health systems and increase transparency, which includes digital tracking and immunisation records. Stakeholders, including civil society at country level can report concerns directly to Gavi partners or use the Gavi Ethics Hotline.

The WHO is also supporting countries to prevent, detect, and respond to the growing threat of substandard and falsified (SF) medical products, including for COVID-19. WHO Member States are encouraged to report SF medical products, including for COVID-19, to the WHO Global Surveillance and Monitoring System (GSMS). Since March 2021, the GSMS has recorded over 50 SF medical products globally (including vaccines) that have a link to the ongoing pandemic. In Africa, SF products have been identified and reported in Ghana, Kenya, South Sudan, RSA, and Nigeria.