COVID-19 vaccine shipments to African nations receive boost
The global agency, at a virtual press conference with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said nearly four million doses from COVAX arrived in Africa last week, compared with the meager 245,000 doses from the facility in June.
COVAX (the vaccines pillar of the ACT-Accelerator) aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 jabs and to make sure that they reach the poorest nations of the world.
BESIDES, White House officials said the United States government would ship nearly 10 million doses to two of the most populous African countries –Nigeria and South Africa – as the continent battles a third wave of infections.
The officials said four million doses of the Moderna jab would go to Nigeria and 5.66 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to South Africa.
According to the WHO, so far, almost 79 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have arrived in Africa and 21 million people, or just 1.6 per cent of Africa’s population, are fully vaccinated. High-income countries have given 61 times more doses per person than low-income nations.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said: “There’s light at the end of the tunnel on vaccine deliveries to Africa, but it must not be snuffed out again. I urge all countries with surplus doses to urgently share more in the spirit of life-saving solidarity and enlightened self-interest, because no country is safe until all countries are safe. I urge African countries to gear up and get ready, as our drought is finally ending.”
She stated that Tanzania had kicked off its COVID-19 vaccination campaign after receiving the first delivery of about one million doses, a donation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the U.S. through COVAX on July 24. Tanzania joined COVAX on June 15.