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Only 15 African Countries hit September Target of Vaccinating 10% of Their Population

While the World Health Organisation announced that up to 90 per cent of the high income countries have hit their targets, here only Seychelles and Mauritius in Africa that have covered more than 60 per cent of their people. Morocco has covered 48 per cent whereas Tunisia, Comoros and Cape Verde over 20 per cent .
Uganda recieved a consignment of 335,000 doses of Astrazeneca vaccines as a donation from Ireland on Thursday.

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Fifteen African countries, accounting for nearly a third of the continent’s 54 nations have fully vaccinated 10 per cent of their people against COVID-19, as per the global target set by the World Health Assembly.  

The assembly set in May that countries ensure to have 10 per cent of their population inoculated by September 30, if they are to control further spread and impact of the viral respiratory disease.

Addressing a weekly press conference on Thursday, Dr Richard Mihigo, the Immunization and Vaccines Development Programme Coordinator for the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa said the best performing countries include Seychelles, Mauritius and Morocco which have had vaccination rates higher than 40 per cent of their population.

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While the  World Health Organisation announced that up to 90 per cent of the high income countries have hit their targets, here only Seychelles and Mauritius in Africa that have covered more than 60 per cent of their people. Morocco has covered 48 per cent whereas Tunisia, Comoros and Cape Verde over 20 per cent .

The rest of the African countries that have met the goal have relatively small populations and 40 per cent are small island developing states. Even as many as 52 countries have received COVID-19 vaccines mainly through the COVAX facility, only half have vaccinated two per cent or more of their population. Uganda has only vaccinated about four per cent of the population targeted for immunization.

Mihigo says  nine African countries, including South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia, had reached the 10 per cent goal at the beginning of September and another six managed to sprint ahead to reach the target this month due to rising vaccine deliveries.

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Over all, twenty-three million COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Africa in September, a ten-fold increase from June. Yet just 60 million Africans have been fully vaccinated so far and two per cent of the more than six billion vaccines given globally have been administered on the continent.

WHO notes that through the COVAX facility, they are now identifying countries that can currently absorb large volumes of vaccines and send them their way and plans to strengthen its support for countries that do not have other sources of vaccines.

WHO has assisted 19 African countries in conducting intra-action reviews, which analyse their vaccination campaigns and offer recommendations to improve them. The reviews show that uncertainty around deliveries has been a major impediment for many countries.

However, in terms of infections, COVID-19 case numbers in Africa dropped by 35 per cent to just over 74, 000 in the week to 26 September. Almost 1800 deaths were reported across 34 African countries in the same period. The Delta variant has been found in 39 African countries. The Alpha variant has been detected in 45 countries and the Beta in 40.     

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