WHO says continent will fall 470 million doses short of its 2021 target
The African continent is set to fall nearly 500 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine short of its target for the year, the World Health Organization has warned.
On 16 September WHO’s African directorate said that cutbacks to the planned Covid-19 vaccine deliveries by the global Covax alliance would result in just 17 per cent of Africa’s population being vaccinated by the end of 2021.
An additional 470 million doses would be required to reach the continent’s end-of-year target of vaccinating 40 per cent of its population, the agency said.
Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa, blamed vaccine hoarding and export bans globally for having a “chokehold” on the continent’s vaccine supplies.
“As long as rich countries lock Covax out of the market, Africa will miss its vaccination goals. The huge gap in vaccine equity is not closing anywhere near fast enough. It is time for vaccine manufacturing countries to open the gates and help protect those facing the greatest risk,” she said in a statement.
According to the WHO, only around 2 per cent of the nearly 6 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine given globally have been administered in Africa. “The European Union and the United Kingdom have vaccinated over 60 per cent of their people and high-income countries have administered 48 times more doses per person than low-income nations,” the WHO said.