More than 85% of people in Africa yet to receive vaccine

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In Africa, more than 85% of people are yet to receive a single dose of vaccine, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.

“We cannot end the acute phase of the pandemic unless we close this gap,” Tedros added.

The Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) programme has shipped much-needed vaccines to the region, with the one billionth vaccine dose expected to be delivered in coming days.

The worldwide initiative directed by the GAVI vaccine alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization aims to provide equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“We are making progress,” Tedros said. “In December, COVAX shipped more than double the number of doses it shipped in November, and in the coming days, we expect COVAX to ship its 1 billionth vaccine dose.”

However, the WHO chief acknowledged there was still a long way to go to reach the target of vaccinating 70% of the population of every country by the middle of this year.

Some 90 countries have still not reached the 40% target, and 36 of those countries have vaccinated less than 10% of their populations.

Photro – EPA-EFE/SIPHIWE SIBEKO / POOL

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