Over six million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Africa, a World Health Organization (WHO) official has said.
Regional director of the organisation for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti stated this during a virtual press conference and noted that countries in the region have accessed vaccines through various deals including the COVAX Facility and are targeting high-risk groups in the vaccination exercise.
“Altogether 38 African countries have received more than 25 million COVID-19 vaccines and 30 have started vaccination campaigns,” Ms Moeti said.
“Through the COVAX initiative – which is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO) in partnership with UNICEF – more than 16 million vaccine doses have so far been shipped to 27 countries.”
Data from Worldometers show that the African continent has reported more than four million COVID-19 cases with the region recording 43,000 new cases in the past week. 108,000 Africans have also lost their lives lost.
Ms Moeti said the initial rollout phase in some African countries has reached a far higher number of people when compared with countries in other regions that accessed vaccines much earlier.
“This is due to the continent’s vast experience in mass vaccination campaigns and the determination of its leaders and people to effectively curb COVID-19,” she said.
According to Ms Moeti, Ghana, the first African country to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility, has administered more than 420,000 doses and covered over 60 per cent of the targeted population in the first phase
“In the first nine days, it is estimated the country delivered doses to around 90 per cent of health workers.
“In Morocco, more than 5.6 million vaccinations have taken place in the past seven weeks, while in Angola, vaccines have reached over 49,000 people, including more than 28, 000 health workers in the past week,” She said.
Nigeria received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in early March and has commenced vaccination.
By Abel Ejikeme