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COVID-19 vaccination: Africa in danger of being left behind – WHO

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THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Africa is in danger of being left behind in COVID-19 vaccination as prices spike due to competition in other regions.

  This is coming as death rates from the pandemic across the continent have risen above the global average in the wake of hospital systems running short of critical medical supplies such as oxygen, Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, and other resources to cope with the coronavirus second wave.

  Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, gave the warning during a briefing on Thursday during a virtual press conference facilitated by the APO Group, Moeti, regretted the effects of hoarding of vaccines to the continent’s response efforts against the pandemic, even as the WHO, along with UNICEF and Gavi called for urgent access to safe and effective vaccines on the continent.

  Moeti stated that Guinea was the only low-income country on the continent to have received doses, with only 25 people vaccinated so far.

  According to her, Seychelles is the only country on the continent where a national COVID-19 vaccination campaign has started.

  She said the story was different in wealthier continents where the vaccines had been administered in 50 nations so far.

  “We first, not me first, is the only way to end the pandemic. Vaccine hoarding will only prolong the ordeal and delay Africa’s recovery.

  “It is deeply unjust that the most vulnerable Africans are forced to wait for vaccines while lower-risk groups in rich countries are made safe.

  “Health workers and vulnerable people in Africa need urgent access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines,” Moeti said.

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