Covid-19 vaccination in Africa: supply continues, but most countries will miss the target set for September

“All vaccines produced by Aspen will remain in Africa and will be distributed to Africa”, said on Sept. 2 Strive Masiyiwa, head of the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Trust, or Avat. The South African company Aspen Pharmacare, which produces the Johnson & Johnson vaccine under a contract with the American pharmaceutical giant in South Africa, is also not sending doses to Europe. Exports to this destination were “suspended”.

“This issue has been fixed in a very positive way” after a meeting in Berlin between South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Furthermore, the Europeans have pledged to give us 200 million doses before the end of December”, also announced Steve Masiyiwa.

The export of these vaccines produced in South Africa has been denounced by many NGOs, as African countries struggle to guarantee the supply of doses to vaccinate their populations.

To that is added a distrust of these in relation to vaccines. According to John Nkengasong, director of African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the number of people who have been fully vaccinated against Sars-CoV-2 on the continent is now around 2.93%. “In total, more than 143 million doses have been received in Africa, where 39 million people, or just 3% of the population, are fully vaccinated.”, nominated on September 2nd the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa. “By comparison, 52% of the population is fully vaccinated in the United States of America and 57% of the population is fully vaccinated in the European Union.”

During its weekly press conference, the WHO regional office said African countries failed to meet the target. “consistent vaccinate 10% of the most vulnerable groups against Covid-19 in each country before the end of September “. this is the case of “42 out of 54 African countries – almost 80% of the total” What if “the current rate for sending vaccines and vaccinations is maintained.” So far, only nine countries, including South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia, have achieved this.

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“As new doses arrive, African countries must intensify their efforts and ensure the implementation of explicit plans that allow millions of people still facing the grave threat to be immunized without delay.” what Covid-19 represents, urged Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa. Deliveries have accelerated in recent weeks.

“Almost 21 million doses of vaccines” were delivered to the African continent through the Covax mechanism during the month of August, “or as much as the number of doses received by the continent over the past four months”.

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