COVID-19 recall makes a mockery of vaccine fairness, WHO Africa chief says – National – .

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COVID-19 recall makes a mockery of vaccine fairness, WHO Africa chief says – National – .


Decisions by rich countries to roll out COVID-19 booster injections when so many people across Africa go unvaccinated “threaten the promise of a better future” for the continent, the director of the continent said on Thursday. Africa’s World Health Organization, warning that “as some richer countries pile up vaccines, they don’t care about vaccine equity.”

Matshidiso Moeti and other African health officials, including the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had warned against booster injections in recent weeks as less than 2% of the population on the continent of 1.3 billion people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Moeti noted that the latest resurgence of cases across Africa is leveling off and more doses of the vaccine are finally arriving on the continent, but “Africa is meeting headwinds” as rich countries like the United States decide to deploy booster injections.









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The situation in Africa remains “very fragile” as the more infectious variant of the delta is now dominant in most of the continent’s 54 countries, she said. More than 7.3 million cases, including more than 186,000 deaths, have been confirmed across the continent and health systems are scrambling to provide medical oxygen and other care.

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U.S. health officials on Wednesday announced plans to distribute COVID-19 booster shots to all Americans amid the booming delta variant and signs that vaccine effectiveness is waning.

Moeti told reporters she couldn’t say with precision whether the doses the United States plans to use for the booster injections will come from stocks that had been planned for Africa, but “I hope not. “.

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She noted the “already very inequitable situation” in the world in vaccine supply and urged that the focus instead be on advancing immunization of people in Africa, whose countries are far behind. part of the world in terms of access and coverage.

Moeti pointed out that rich countries have administered an average of more than 103 doses of the vaccine per 100 people, while in Africa there are only six.

Earlier this week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called it “unacceptable” that some countries are now offering booster shots “when so many people remain unprotected”.

Moeti said on Thursday that “we urge the richer countries which have supplies sometimes even greater than their populations to increase their donations to African countries which have been so disadvantaged.”

She added, after the revelation this week that some doses of COVID-19 vaccine currently manufactured in Africa are being shipped to Europe, “I think no better example can follow that than the vaccines that are actually produced on the African continent. She called on those countries to consider donating some of the vaccines produced in South Africa to African countries “as well as meeting their needs.”

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