WHO warns Africa of a new COVID wave
The WHO warned on Thursday that most African countries are on track to fail the “crucial goal” of vaccinating the most vulnerable ten percent of their people against COVID-19 by the end of the month.
The WHO’s African office warned that 42 of Africa’s 54 countries, or roughly 80%, are on track to fail the target unless the current pace of vaccine deliveries and vaccinations increase.
“Vaccine hoarding has held Africa back and we urgently need more vaccines,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “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,” she added.
According to the WHO, coronavirus vaccine supplies to Africa has improved, with about 21 million doses arriving in August through the international Covax distribution system.
This was the same as the previous four months’ total.
“Africa is set to miss the urgent global goal of vaccinating the most vulnerable 10 percent of every country’s population against COVID-19 by the end of September,” the WHO warned.
But with more vaccines expected from Covax and the African Union by the end of September, the target remains possible, it added. On top of that, 26 countries have used less than half of the coronavirus vaccine doses they already have.
Experts worry that reluctance to take the vaccine, stemming from public scepticism over foreign-procured jabs and fear of side effects, may prolong the pandemic in Africa, a continent of nearly 1.3 billion people, The WHO said that COVID-19 case numbers have been declining slightly in Africa “but remain stubbornly high”.
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