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Most African countries unlikely to meet global COVID-19 vaccination goal

Africa is unlikely to meet the urgent global goal of vaccinating the most vulnerable 10 percent of each country's population…

Africa is unlikely to meet the urgent global goal of vaccinating the most vulnerable 10 percent of each country’s population against COVID-19 by the end of September, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).The WHO Regional Office for Africa in a statement released on Thursday said that 42 of Africa’s 54 nations, nearly 80 percent, are set to miss the target with the current pace of vaccine deliveries and vaccinations.

 

Nine African countries, including South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia, have already reached the global target set in May by the World Health Assembly, the world’s highest health policy-setting body.

 

At the current pace, three more African countries are set to meet the target, while two more could meet it if they speed up vaccinations.

 

“With less than a month to go, this looming goal must concentrate minds in Africa and globally. Vaccine hoarding has held Africa back and 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,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

 

Almost 21 million COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Africa via the COVAX Facility in August, an amount equal to the previous four months combined. With more vaccines expected from COVAX and the African Union by the end of September, Africa would have enough doses to meet the 10 percent target, said Moeti.

Over 143 million doses have been received in Africa in total, but only 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 and 57 percent in the European Union.

 

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