Africa's COVID-19 vaccination rate tripled but is still low, claims WHO

Africa's COVID-19 vaccination rate tripled but is still low, claims WHO

The COVID-19 vaccination rate in Africa has tripled during the last week. However, safeguarding even 10% of the continent by the end of September is still a very hard goal, claims World Health Organization's Africa Director, Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Natalie Moeti.

According to Dr. Matshidiso, 13 million doses were administered in the previous week, three times the number of people inoculated the week before, as donations of doses from developed regions have surged.

However, Africa CDC says that in a continent with 1.3 billion people, where only 2.4 percent are currently vaccinated, this is a drop in the ocean.

During the last week, around 248,000 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the continent, with around 28 countries reporting a surge in the infections caused by the Delta Variant.

Fueled by the Delta strain, Africa's violent comeback in cases is putting even more pressure on already overburdened health systems. As a result, booster injections are being discussed in the United States and other high-income countries as African countries struggle.

Recently, Dr. Moeti said that these are difficult times to comment on booster doses in Africa. The continent had not covered around 5% of the population yet with the initial vaccinations, which are very much required to slow down the virus spread and more significantly halt what people believe to be a fourth wave on the way.

The continent will be provided be 117 million doses in the coming months, but it requires an additional 34 million to vaccinate 10% of the population, the WHO Africa director added.

She has advised African countries to increase their readiness to use vaccines once they come. But, advised that no valuable dose should be wasted.

Speaking on booster doses, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, called the move ‘unconscionable’ as some countries are now administering booster doses while so many people remain unprotected.

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