Only 1,6% have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Africa
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In its latest update on the Covid-19 pandemic the World Health Organisation (WHO) provided data on how the virus has spread across Africa.
WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti said: “The current surge has been Africa’s fastest rising, powered mainly by people’s fatigue with Covid-19 preventive measures, the presence of more transmissible variants and the continent’s low vaccination coverage.”
She added: “Our greatest barrier to overcoming this pandemic remains vaccine inequity. We cannot get ahead of the virus if vaccines are not reaching a significant proportion of the population.”
Providing an update on the situation in Africa, Moeti said: “Africa has fallen far behind the rest of the world in terms of vaccination. Just 21 million people, 1.6 percent of the continent’s population, are fully vaccinated. Despite the vaccine supply crunch, seven countries, including Equatorial Guinea, Mauritius, Morocco and Seychelles have reached vaccination rates significantly above the continental average. About 30 countries have used more than three quarters of the vaccines they received.”
Vaccines are trickling into countries and the WHO warned that more is needed: “Considering a two-dose schedule, as is the case with most Covid-19 vaccines, 820 million vaccine doses are needed to reach the target of fully vaccinating 30% of Africa’s population by the end of this year.”
The statement said “In comparison with only 245 000 doses that were supplied to just six countries in the whole of June, over the past week alone, 3.8 million vaccine doses were delivered to 13 countries through the Covax facility, bringing the total doses delivered to the continent to 82 million. These recently delivered vaccines are part of 60 million doses Covax has allocated to 49 African countries, to be shipped between now and September.”
Africa still needs more than 700 million doses to reach the 30% year-end target.