Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19: 'Africa to begin mass vaccination in March'

COVID-19 vaccination price hike, hoarding, lack of infrastructure have delayed Africa’s access, WHO says

Seleshi Tessema   | 22.01.2021
COVID-19: 'Africa to begin mass vaccination in March'

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

As the World Health Organization (WHO) urged global actors to speed up the COVID-19 vaccination access in Africa, the continent has reported 3,365,095 cases and 82,891 virus-related fatalities, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

Some 2,822,123 COVID-19 patients have managed to recover so far.

The WHO on Thursday said: "Africa is in danger of being left behind as countries in other regions strike bilateral deals, driving up prices."

To date, “Guinea is the sole low-income nation to provide vaccines and to date these have only been administered to 25 people, the statement added, noting: "Seychelles, which is a high-income country, is the only one on the continent to start a national vaccination campaign.”

Despite the price hike and hoarding of the vaccine which will delay Africa’s early recovery, 900 million doses have been secured through a global coalition involving various global agencies.

"In Africa, the coalition has committed to vaccinating at least 20% of the population by the end of 2021 by providing a maximum of 600 million doses based on two doses per individual,’’ the statement also said, adding: "An initial 30 million doses are expected to start arriving in countries by March."

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