Just five African countries, less than 10 per cent of the continent’s 54 nations, are projected to hit the year-end target of fully vaccinating 40 per cent of their population…reports Asian Lite News
Seychelles, Mauritius and Morocco have already met the goal that was set in May by the World Health Assembly, the world’s highest health policy-setting body, Xinhua news agency quoted the WHO’s regional office for Africa, based in the Congolese capital Brazzaville, as saying on Thursday.
The office added that Tunisia and Cape Verde will also hit the target.
Limited access to crucial commodities such as syringes may slow the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in Africa, warned the WHO, noting that some countries, such as Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa, have experienced delays in receiving syringes.
“The looming threat of a vaccine commodities crisis hangs over the continent. Early next year Covid-19 vaccines will start pouring into Africa, but a scarcity of syringes could paralyze progress,” said Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa.
The COVAX Facility is working to address this threat by securing deals with syringe manufacturers, and through better planning to avoid deliveries outpacing the supply of syringes, Moeti said.
At the current pace, Africa still faces a 275 million shortfall of Covid-19 vaccines against the year-end target.
Africa has fully vaccinated 77 million people, just 6 per cent of its population, while over 70 per cent of high-income countries have already vaccinated more than 40 per cent of their people.
With nearly 8.5 million Covid-19 cases and more than 217,000 deaths recorded in Africa, 10 countries are still witnessing a resurgence, including Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon and Egypt with an upward trend or high plateau, according to the WHO.