Africa set to miss global COVID-19 vaccine target

Africa set to miss global COVID-19 vaccine target

from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) VACCINE hoarding has jeorpadised Africa’s prospects of attaining the global goal of vaccinating the most vulnerable 10 percent of every country’s population by end of September.

New data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates 42 of
Africa’s 54 nations—nearly 80 percent— are set to miss the target if the current pace of vaccine deliveries and vaccinations holds.

Only nine African countries, including the most affected trio of South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia, have already reached the global target set in May by the World Health Assembly.

“With less than a month to go, this looming goal must concentrate minds in Africa and globally,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Director for Africa.

Speaking during a virtual press conference, she said vaccine hoarding held back the African continent.

Just 2 percent of the over five billion doses given globally have been administered in Africa.

“We urgently need more vaccines, but as more doses arrive, African countries must zero in and drive forward precise plans to rapidly vaccinate the millions of people that still face a grave threat from COVID-19,” Moeti said.

Almost 21 million COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Africa via the COVAX Facility in August, an amount equal to the previous four months combined.

While many African countries have sped up COVID-19 vaccinations as vaccine shipments ramped up in August, 26 countries have used less than half of their vaccines.

Over 143 million doses have been received in Africa in total and 39 million people—around just 3 percent of Africa’s population—are fully vaccinated.

In comparison, 52 percent of people are fully vaccinated in the United States of America and 57 percent in the European Union (EU).

As of Thursday this week, more than 7,89 million cases had been reported in the continent.

This includes 197 475 deaths.

“Every hour 26 Africans die of COVID-19,” Moeti said.

– CAJ News

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