As world leaders prepared to meet in United Nations General AssemblyAfrican public health experts on Thursday called for action to speed up the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to their continent, where according to the World Health Organization, only 3.6 percent of people have been fully vaccinated against the disease so far.
Shortage of supplies from Kovacs, the Global Vaccine Sharing Initiative, has left African countries only half the doses they need to meet the global goal of fully vaccinating 40 percent of their population by the end of 2021. Inequalities in vaccine distribution remain stark: Africa is home to about 17 percent of the population. world, but only 2 percent of about six billion injections given so far have been given in Africa, according to the World Health Organization.
“As the United Nations General Assembly meets next week, I urge African leaders to call on them to ensure equitable access to vaccines,” Dr. Ask the rich countries: Where are Africa’s vaccines? Where are the vaccines for low and middle income countries in the world? “
The world’s rich countries have provided only a small portion of the doses They promised Kovacs. This deficiency is one of the main reasons for Covax It lowered its forecast last week For the number of doses that will be available this year. Worldwide, 80 percent of shots have been given were in upper and upper middle income countries, according to Our world in data Project at Oxford University. Only 0.4 percent of doses were given in low-income countries.
Another reason, experts said, is that India, with the world’s largest pharmaceutical industry, has Stop exporting corona virus vaccine While trying to vaccinate more of its members.
“The ban on export and stockpiling of vaccines continues to stifle the lifeline of vaccine supplies to Africa,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Director for Africa, said at the press conference. “As long as rich countries lock Kovacs and the African Union out of the market, Africa will lose its vaccination goals.”
Dr Moeti reiterated the WHO’s request that countries postpone giving booster doses to healthy people until the end of the year, so that more doses of the vaccine can be made available to countries still struggling to give the initial doses. distance A growing number of countries Go ahead with plans for augmentation programs.
Dr. added. Despite this, she said, countries will not reach the 40 percent vaccination rate at the current pace until next March.