More Covid-19 Vaccines for Africa-WHO

*Nigeria to Receive 4m Moderna Doses

*S’Africa Gets 5.66m Pfizer Variant

Ernest Omoarelojie with Agency Reports

The World Health Organisation, WHO, announced on Thursday yesterday that Africa will be receiving more shipments of Covid-19 vaccines shipments from multiple sources. The announcement, which the global health watch dog made at a virtual press conference with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, is good news for the continent’s drive to curtail and contain the spread of the pandemic after experiencing a near-halt to vaccine deliveries in the last few months.
In the main, the announcement is taking into account, a statement by the White House that the United States government has concluded plans to ship about 10 million of both Moderna and Pfizer vaccine doses to the continent’s two most populous nations-Nigeria and South Africa, to help quell the pandemic’s third infection wave. Accordingly, whereas Nigeria will get 4 million Moderna vaccines, South Africa will receive 5.66 million doses of the Pfizer variant.
WHO added that almost 4 million doses of COVAX were delivered to unspecified African nations last week, a stark difference from the previous month during which the continent got only 245,000 doses from the same facility. However, with COVAX now targeting a shipment of 520 million doses to the continent by the end of the year, there are more reasons for hope as the African Union’s Africa Vaccine Trust, AVAT, also seeks to shore up the continent’s vaccine reserve with a projected additional 10 million doses by September. AVAT is expected to deliver about 45 million doses by the end of the year.
According to the WHO, almost 79 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have arrived in Africa thus far with 21 million people, representing 1.6 per cent of the continent’s population, have been fully vaccinated. But the continent would require at least, up to 820 million doses, based on the two doses per person schedule, to fully vaccinate at least, 30 per cent of the population by year end.
“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,” WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said.

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