'This IS INSANE':' Africa desperately short of COVID vaccine

In the global race to vaccinate people against COVID-19, Africa is at the rear of the pack.

'This IS INSANE':' Africa desperately short of COVID vaccine

In the global race to vaccinate people against COVID-19, Africa is at the rear of the pack.

09 June 2021 Wednesday 15:04
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'This IS INSANE':' Africa desperately short of COVID vaccine

In reality, it has barely gotten out of the starting blocks.

In South Africa, which has the continent's strongest economy and its biggest coronavirus caseload, only 0.8percent of the populace is fully vaccinated, according to a global tracker kept by Johns Hopkins University. And thousands and thousands of the country's health workers, a lot of whom come face-to-face with the virus every day, are still waiting for their shots.

In Nigeria, Africa's biggest country with more than 200 million people, only 0.1percent are wholly protected. Uganda has remembered doses from rural areas because it doesn't have nearly enough to fight outbreaks in big cities.

Chad didn't administer its first vaccine shots until this past weekend. And there are at least five other countries in Africa where not one dose was put into a arm, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The World Health Organization claims that the continent of 1.3 billion people is facing a serious shortage of vaccine in precisely the exact same time a fresh wave of infections is growing across Africa. The shortfall is projected at 700 million doses. And vaccine shipments into the continent have floor into a"close halt," WHO said last week.

"It's extremely concerning and occasionally frustrating," explained Africa CDC Director Dr. John Nkengasong, a Cameroonian virologist who is attempting to guarantee some of the world's poorest nations get a fair share of vaccines in a market where they can not possibly compete.

America and Britain, by comparison, have completely vaccinated more than 40% of their populations, with higher prices for adults and high-risk people. Countries in Europe are close or beyond 20% policy, and their taxpayers are starting to consider where their vaccine certificates may take them in their summer holidays. The U.S., both France and Germany are even offering shots to kids, who are at very low risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

Poorer countries had warned as far back as last year of the impending vaccine inequality, fearful that wealthy countries would snore doses.

In a meeting, Nkengasong called on the leaders of wealthy nations meeting this week in the Group of Seven summit to discuss spare offenses -- something the United States has already agreed to perform -- and prevent a"moral catastrophe."

"I'd love to believe that the G-7 states, most of them having kept surplus doses of germs, need to be on the right side of history," Nkengasong said. "Distribute these vaccines. We need to really see these vaccines, not only... promises and goodwill."

Others are not so individual, nor so diplomatic.

"People are dying. This IS INSANE," South African human rights lawyer Fatima Hasan, an activist for equal access to healthcare, composed in a set of text messages.



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