“With less than a month to go, this approaching goal must focus minds on Africa globally. Hoarding of vaccines has delayed Africa and we urgently need more vaccines, but as more doses arrive, African countries must make precise plans to quickly vaccinate the millions of people who still face the grave threat of Covid-19,” said the WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, quoted in a statement.
The African continent received 21 million doses in August through the Covax mechanism, which supports developing countries, a number similar to the total received in the previous four months.
With this increase, WHO says that enough doses can be delivered to meet the 10% target, but warns, however, that 26 countries "used less than half of their vaccines against Covid-19".
“Over 143 million doses have been delivered to Africa in total, and 39 million people – about 3% of the African population – are fully vaccinated. In comparison, 52% of people are vaccinated in the United States of America and 57% in the European Union”, adds the United Nations agency.
The WHO also points out that only nine African countries – such as South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia – have so far met the target of vaccinating the 10% most vulnerable.
“Inequality is disturbing. Only 2% of the five billion doses given globally were administered in Africa, but the recent increase in vaccine shipments and commitments show that a fairer and more global distribution of vaccines is possible”, stressed Moeti.
According to the latest data from the African Union Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the continent has had more than 7.81 million cases since the start of the pandemic, including more than 197,000 deaths.
Covid-19 has caused at least 4,529,715 deaths worldwide, among more than 218.3 million infections by the new coronavirus registered since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest report by the Agence France-Presse.
The respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and currently with variants identified in countries such as the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, Brazil or Peru.