Most African states miss COVID-19 jabs targets

Only 15 out of Africa’s 54 countries have met the global target of vaccinating more than 10 per cent of their populations against coronavirus (COVID-19) by the end of September, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

That’s largely because Covax, the mechanism set up to distribute vaccine doses to poor nations, has not been able to get enough doses.

Seychelles, Mauritius and Morocco have achieved the highest vaccination rates, all above 40 per cent. The WHO attributes this to their robust vaccination programmse, as well as the size of the countries and their populations.

Others which have met the target are Tunisia, Eswatini, Cape Verde, Botswana, Comoros, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, Mauritania, Lesotho and Rwanda.

But overall, just 4 per cent of Africans have been fully jabbed, compared with 60 per cent in the European Union.

Covax had planned to deliver nearly 300 million doses to Africa.

But it’s only been able to procure 72 million doses after the richer nations bought up much of the stock.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says a target of fully vaccinating 10 per cent of all people in Africa by the end of September won’t be achieved unless supplies improve.

Less than 4 per cent of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated, compared with around 54 per cent in the US and 65 per cent in the UK.

The WHO says African countries have so far received 177 million vaccine doses.

The global Covax vaccine scheme, intended to help poorer countries, has supplied about 37 per cent of these, with the rest acquired through bilateral deals and donations from a variety of sources.

Earlier this year, countries struggled to get supplies via Covax, but the situation improved in July and August.

Supply was partly boosted by wealthier countries donating to Covax – or directly to African nations.

For example, there were pledges made to share surplus supplies at the G7 summit in the UK last June.

On September 2, the WHO said that almost 21 million vaccines had arrived in Africa via Covax in the month of August – an amount equal to the previous four months combined.

And African countries are expected to receive about 95 million doses through this scheme in September.-BBC

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