The Weekend Leader - 15 African nations hit 10% Covid vaccination goal: WHO

15 African nations hit 10% Covid vaccination goal: WHO




Fifteen African countries, nearly a third of the continent's total nations, have fully vaccinated 10 per cent of their population against Covid-19, a goal set by the World Health Assembly in May, said the World Health Organization (WHO).

Seychelles and Mauritius have fully vaccinated over 60 per cent of their populations, Morocco 48 per cent and Tunisia, Comoros and Cape Verde over 20 per cent, Xinhua news agency quoted the WHO regional office for Africa based in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo, as saying in a statement on Thursday.

In May, the World Health Assembly, the WHO's decision-making body, has set the global goal of fully vaccinating 10 per cent of every country's population by September 30.

Almost 90 per cent of high income-countries have met this target.

Nine African countries, including South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia, had reached the 10 percent goal at the beginning of September and another six managed to sprint ahead to reach the target this month due to rising vaccine deliveries.

Twenty-three million Covid-19 vaccines have arrived in Africa in September, a 10-fold increase from June.

Yet just 60 million Africans have been fully vaccinated so far and 2 per cent of the more than 6 billion vaccines given globally have been administered on the continent, warned the WHO.

"There is still a long way to go to reach the WHO target of fully vaccinating 40 percent of the population by the end of the year. Shipments are increasing but opaque delivery plans are still the number one nuisance that hold Africa back," said Richard Mihigo, Immunization and Vaccines Development Program Coordinator for the WHO regional office for Africa.

In the week to September 26, almost 1,800 deaths were reported across 34 African countries in the same period.

The Delta variant has been found in 39 African countries, while the Alpha was detected in 45 countries and the Beta in 40.

"Despite the declining case numbers we must all remain vigilant and continue to adhere to the proven public health and safety measures that we know save lives, such as wearing a mask, washing our hands regularly and physical distancing, especially while vaccination rates remain low," said Mihigo.- IANS

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