South African government has announced donating two million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to the other African nations to boost the continent’s vaccination drive.
Reportedly, Aspen Pharmacare will produce doses worth $18 million at its manufacturing unit in Gqeberha for distribution of vaccines in the African countries next year.
Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa stated that the vaccine donation demonstrates South Africa’s solidarity with the other African nations in fighting against the threat to economic prosperity and public health.
As per sources, South Africa’s vaccine donation will add nearly 100 million doses of vaccines to the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust of the African Union. Furthermore, the vaccination group has also bought 500 million doses for distribution across African continent.
Apparently, the African continent remains the least vaccinated across the world and might not be able to achieve the target of vaccinating 70 per cent of the 1.3 billion population by the end of 2024 as per the statemen by World Health Organization (WHO).
According to credible sources, out of 54 African countries, only 20 countries have fully vaccinated around 10 per cent of their people against COVID-19.
Reportedly, the South African continent is facing a resurgence of COVID cases due to the Omicron variant. The country is recording an average of 8.59-39.11 new cases daily per 100,000 people.
Joe Phaahla, Health Minister stated that almost 78% of cases belong to the Omicron variant, increasing hospitalizations and deaths from the virus.
Industry experts suggest that Pfizer vaccine offers less protection against Omicron but still reduces the risk of hospitalization.
In comparison to other African nations, South Africa has adequate doses of vaccination and have vaccinated almost 38% of its adult population.
Phaahla expressed his concerns regarding vaccination and urged South Africans to get vaccinated before holidays.