Almost 90% of African nations set to miss September target for vaccination
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IT’S DO or die on dose sharing for Africa, says the World Health Organisation (WHO) as 47 of Africa’s 54 countries — nearly 90% — are set to miss the September target of vaccinating 10% of their people.
This could be avoided only if Africa receives 225 million more doses.
As the continent nears 5 million Covid-19 cases, numbers are rising week-on-week and increased by nearly 20% to over 88 000 in the week ending on June 6.
The WHO said the pandemic was trending upwards in 10 African countries, with four nations recording a spike in new cases of over 30% in the past seven days, compared with the previous week.
Majority of the new cases (72%) were reported in Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia and over half were recorded in nine southern African countries.
At 32 million doses, Africa accounts for under 1% of the over 2.1 billion doses administered globally.
Just 2% of the continent’s nearly 1.3 billion people have received one dose and only 9.4 million Africans are fully vaccinated.
WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti said: “As we close in on 5 million cases and a third wave in Africa looms, many of our most vulnerable people remain dangerously exposed to Covid-19.
“Vaccines have been proven to prevent cases and deaths, so countries that can, must urgently share Covid-19 vaccines.
“It’s do or die on dose sharing for African.”
“The tide is starting to turn.
“We are now seeing wealthy nations beginning to turn promises into action,” said Dr Moeti.
Several African countries, including Côte d’Ivoire and Niger were seeing more success by adjusting their vaccine roll-out strategies.
WHO has recommended spreading vaccinations beyond large cities into rural areas, prioritising vaccines that are close to expiring, tackling logistical and financial hurdles and working to boost public demand for vaccines.