Africa is slated to receive only 75% of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year, said the World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Africa Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti in a statement on Thursday (9/9).
To date, only about three percent of the total population on the African continent have been fully vaccinated. Countries on the continent are still struggling with limited vaccine supplies. This condition looks sad considering that some rich countries have started injection programs booster (amplifier),
The Worldwide Vaccine Sharing Initiative or COVAX announced Wednesday that it expects to receive about 1.4 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, down from its previous projection in June that it would receive 1.9 billion doses.
Moeti, who is the first woman to hold a position in the region, told a news conference Thursday that the United States had dumped three times as many doses of vaccine as COVAX had shipped to African countries since March.
COVAX shipped more than 5 million doses to Africa in the past week, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that as of September 1, US pharmacies had discarded more than 15 million doses of the vaccine since March.
The United States and other wealthy nations are under increasing pressure to donate surplus COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries as the pandemic wreaks havoc around the world with the emergence of a new, more infectious variant.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, on Wednesday (8/9) called on rich countries to suspend booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine for the rest of the year to ensure that poorer countries have more access to vaccines. Tedros previously asked rich countries not to provide boosters until September. [lt/pp/rs]