90% of African countries will miss vaccination targets, WHO says

Johannesburg – The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that 90% of African countries will miss their targets to have at least 10% of their populations vaccinated against Covid-19.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said that Africa needed an extra 225 million doses to be able to vaccinate a tenth of its people by September this year.

As Africa nears 5 million Covid-19 cases, numbers are rising week-on-week and increased by nearly 20% to over 88 000 in the week ending on 6 June.

The pandemic is trending upwards in 10 African countries, with four nations recording a spike in new cases of over 30% in the past seven days, compared with the previous week.

72% of all new cases were reported in Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia and over half were recorded in nine southern African countries.

“With vaccine stocks and shipments drying up, the continent’s vaccination coverage for the first dose remains stuck at 2% and at about 1% in sub-saharan Africa, Vaccines have been proven to prevent cases and deaths, so countries that can, must urgently share COVID-19 vaccines. It’s do or die on dose sharing for Africa,” Moeti said in a press conference.

While South Africa technically entered the third wave of the pandemic yesterday, reports further indicate that 14 African countries were heading towards a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

At 32 million doses, Africa accounts for under 1% of the over 2.1 billion doses administered globally. Just 2% of the continent’s nearly 1.3 billion people have received one dose and only 9.4 million Africans are fully vaccinated.

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