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WHO Reports Shortfall of 500 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Supply to Africa

According to WHO, the COVAX Facility has slashed planned COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to Africa by around 150 million this year which means the continent faces almost 500 million doses short of the global year-end target of fully vaccinating 40% of its population.
17 percent of the population in Africa will be vaccinated against covid-19 by the end of the year. This is according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

According to WHO, the  COVAX Facility has slashed planned COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to Africa by around 150 million this year which means the continent faces almost 500 million doses short of the global year-end target of fully vaccinating 40% of its population.

With the cutback, Dr Moeti Matshidiso the WHO Africa boss says COVAX is now expected to deliver 470 million doses to Africa this year. These will be enough to vaccinate just 17% of the population.

An additional 470 million doses are needed to reach the end-year target even if all planned shipments via COVAX and the African Union are delivered.

“Export bans and vaccine hoarding have a chokehold on vaccine supplies to Africa. As long as rich countries lock COVAX out of the market, Africa will miss its vaccination goals. The huge gap in vaccine equity is not closing anywhere near fast enough. It is time for vaccine manufacturing countries to open the gates and help protect those facing the greatest risk,” Matshidiso said.  

COVAX has already called for countries with enough vaccines to give up their place in the queue for deliveries but Matshidiso says the jabs should be available in larger, more predictable volumes and with longer shelf lives.

About 95 million more doses are set to arrive in Africa via COVAX throughout September, which will be the largest shipment the continent receives for any month so far. 

Yet even as deliveries pick up, Africa has been able to fully vaccinate just 50 million people or 3.6% of its people.

Around 2% of the nearly 6 billion doses given globally have been administered in Africa.   The European Union and the United Kingdom have vaccinated over 60% of their people and high-income countries have administered 48 times more doses per person than low-income nations. “The staggering inequity and severe lag in shipments of vaccines threaten to turn areas in Africa with low vaccination rates into breeding grounds for vaccine-resistant variants. This could end up sending the whole world back to square one,” said Dr Moeti.

As of Tuesday, there were 8 million COVID-19 cases recorded in Africa and while the third wave wanes, there were nearly 125,000 new cases in the week ending  September 12th.



While this is a 27% drop from the previous week, weekly new cases are still at about the peak of the first wave and 19 countries continue to report high or fast-rising case numbers, according to WHO.

Deaths fell by 19% to 2531 reported in Africa in the week of September 12th. The highly transmissible Delta variant has been found in 31 African countries. The Alpha variant has been detected in 44 countries and the Beta variant in 39.  

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