The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Africa has been “left behind by the rest of the world” regarding coronavirus vaccines.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus while addressing a press conference on vaccine equity said only two countries in Africa had reached the WHO target to vaccinate 40% of their population by the end of 2021 – the lowest of any region.
Dr Tedros said more than 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus jabs had been administered globally but only 2% of those were given in Africa, and warned that if vaccines are not shared fairly the virus will have more chance to mutate.
The WHO says Africa’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccine is being hampered by supply shortages and delays in planned deliveries.
WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said more than one billion Africans still have not been able to avail themselves of the life-saving tool.
“Ten African countries that have carried out the most vaccinations have now used up over two-thirds of the supplies that they have received. At the same time, countries such as Benin, Comoros, Liberia, Sierra Leone and South Sudan have faced delays in rolling out vaccines due to constraints around funding, planning and human resource shortages.”.