Africa 'not on track' to 10% Covid-19 vaccination target by year end: WHO

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World Health Organisation (Photo/IANS)

Highlights

Only 1.5 per cent of the whole population of Africa has been vaccinated against Covid-19, and the continent might not even reach 10 per cent coverage by December 2021

Geneva: Only 1.5 per cent of the whole population of Africa has been vaccinated against Covid-19, and the continent might not even reach 10 per cent coverage by December 2021, although the World Health Organization (WHO) wanted to cross that threshold by September of this year, WHO officials warned on Friday.

"Right now, we are not on track to hit 10 per cent coverage in Africa by the end of this year," said Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the WHO director general, at a press conference here on Friday.

"That should be a scar on all of our conscience, quite frankly," he added, pointing out that the number of coronavirus-related deaths has increased by 80 per cent on the African continent, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Only a fraction of the globally available vaccine doses have been administered in Africa, less than two per cent of the 4.07 billion doses used worldwide, according to the WHO.

To reach the 10 per cent target by September, the African countries should administer 21 million vaccine doses per week, up to seven times more than the actual rate of 3.5 million to four million doses administered per week today, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

He reiterated that the world was "on the verge of a catastrophic moral failure. And yet, the global distribution of vaccines remains unjust."

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