Addis Ababa: A top official of the World Health Organization (WHO) says the goal of vaccinating COVID0 percent of Africa’s population against COVID-1 by December seems unlikely, as the continent is intervening to cut doses provided through multilateral platforms.
In a statement on Thursday, Matsidiso Moti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, said the continent was facing a shortage of about 500 million vaccines due to a lack of 150 million doses of covax facility.
According to Moti, the Kovax facility will deliver only 470 million doses to Africa this year, enough to vaccinate 17 percent of the population.
He said export bans and vaccine stocks have slowed vaccine distribution in Africa, where 50 million people, or 6. percent of the population, have been fully vaccinated against the virus.
The huge gap in vaccine equity isn’t closing anywhere fast, Moti said. It is time to open the door for vaccine-making countries and help them face the biggest risks.
Africa is lobbying large countries for coax, even encouraging manufacturers to speed up the distribution process.
He said about 1.5 million additional doses would reach Africa through the Covax facility throughout September.
Moti warned that vaccination was slow in Africa where there were more than 8 million Covid-19 cases and 204,821 related deaths.
He said the WHO has increased support for African countries to be able to identify logistical, financial and personnel barriers that have led to rapid vaccine roll-outs.