According to the World Health Organization’s vaccine introduction readiness assessment tool, African nations are on average 42% ready for their mass-vaccination campaigns. File picture: Lisi Niesner/Reuters
According to the World Health Organization’s vaccine introduction readiness assessment tool, African nations are on average 42% ready for their mass-vaccination campaigns. File picture: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

SA’s vaccination programme compared to other African countries

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Feb 15, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s vaccination programme is expected to begin this week, after a delay due to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine not being efficacious against the new Covid-19 variant found in the country.

Despite a delay in the country’s coronavirus vaccination programme, very few countries in Africa have started with their vaccination programmes, while some don’t even have adequate plans for funding vaccination programmes.

According to the World Health Organization’s vaccine introduction readiness assessment tool, African nations are on average 42% ready for their mass-vaccination campaigns, which is an improvement on the starting point of 33% two months ago.

So far only a handful of countries in Africa have begun vaccinating citizens. The AU announced it had secured 270 million doses of vaccines for African nations to buy, including the Pfizer vaccine, last month.

Most of the doses are expected to arrive in the second half of the year. These timelines and quantities could change if candidate vaccines fail to meet regulatory approval, or if production, delivery and funding face challenges.

The Seychelles became the first African country to start inoculating its population on January 10, after it received 50 000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, donated by the United Arab Emirates.

As of February 12, the country had administered at least 51 819 doses of Covid vaccines.

Similar to South Africa, Egypt has prioritised health-care workers in receiving the vaccine. The country has already begun vaccinating front-line medical staff against Covid-19 using vaccine developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

Rwanda started its first phase of vaccination against Covid-19 on February 14, with the limited 1 000 doses of the Moderna vaccine administered to high-risk groups, including frontline workers.

With less than 100 active cases Mauritius, began a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign on January 26, giving priority to frontline workers including health care professionals, employees of the tourism industry.

Morocco, having bought two million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 500 000 doses China's Sinopharm vaccine, started its vaccination campaign on January 26.

According to the Health Ministry's latest data, Morocco has vaccinated over 800 000 people since the start of its vaccination campaign.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe received its first delivery of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine on February 15.

The 200 000 doses of the vaccine donated by the Chinese government, while another 600 000 doses of the same vaccine purchased by the government, will arrive early next month.

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