Only five African countries will meet the target of fully vaccinating 40 per cent of their populations against the coronavirus, the World Health Organization says.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa said with just 5.7 per cent of the continent’s population fully vaccinated, COVID-19 still poses a very real risk to populations in Africa, and globally.
“Yet just five Africa countries – less than 10 per cent of the continent’s 54 nations – are projected to hit the year-end target of 40 per cent of their people vaccinated,” she said adding that to reach this target, African countries need to be receiving 30 million doses a week, which is almost double the current 17 million they are receiving from all sources.
?LIVE: Join this @WHOAFRO press conference on the #COVID19 pandemic & vaccine rollout in #Africa. Dr @MoetiTshidi is joined by @RBCRwanda's Dr Sabin Nsanzimana & @PATHtweets's Sibusiso Hlatjwako. https://t.co/tKdp31BwvH
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) October 28, 2021
Shortage of syringes
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says there is a global shortage of around two billion of the auto-disposable syringes needed for COVID-19 vaccine and routine immunization.
“We are not anticipating a significant supply shortage of the more standard syringes used in high-income countries,” the agency said in a statement.
“The anticipated shortfall is the result of the significantly higher demand, disruptions to international freight and supply chains, an unpredictable supply of vaccines due to a significant reliance on much needed donated doses, and national bans on syringe exports.”
According to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the supplies and resources needed to roll them out are critical and must be addressed through a comprehensive approach.
“Already, some African countries, such as Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa, have experienced delays in receiving syringes, and unless drastic measures are taken to boost syringe production, Africa faces a crisis,” she told the media.