The Africa Centers for Disease Control says that the continent is way behind in vaccinating 60% of its population, to reach herd immunity.
It says with the slow vaccine supply to Africa it may only reach this commitment by the end of 2022. Africa has so far received only 137 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The African Union (AU)) is worried that vaccine supply on the continent remains low with only 104 million people having received full doses so far.
AU special envoy Strive Masiyiwa says: “Even if we deliver 370 million doses that we can see by Christmas, that would still be less. And if you assume let’s say 100 million Johnson and Johnson during that period and the rest are double dose vaccines, we would still be under 20% of our population covered. the way it is looking we will only get to that 60% level of our population by about September next year. ”
In the past week the Africa CDC said the continent has registered 20 000 new cases, with the Southern Africa region in the lead.
Director of Africa CDC Dr John Nkengasong says: “With respect to the C12 mutation in South Africa. There is no doubt many other mutations will arise. The more we delay in vaccinating the more we increase the ability that new variants will emerge. What we are seeing is a system that mirrors the use of antibiotics. If you use antibiotics poorly you create mutations, and it is the same thing. If we vaccinate slowly, you will see many more mutations.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) supported COVAX facility, has so far supplied only 30 million doses to Africa out of its commitment of 720 million.
Africa CDC briefing on the latest COVID-19 trends on the continent: 26 August 2021
The continent is banking on more 400 million doses from Johnson and Johnson, whose supply has already begun.
“Johnson and Johnson is producing for the continent through a company called Aspen in South Africa. In August 6.4 million doses were shipped to 27 African countries. The plan is to have 20 million sent out to 41 countries in September.”
And by the end of October the AU hopes that at least 46 countries will have commitments to get supplies directly from the plant.
It is also expecting 200 million doses of vaccines that the European Union has committed to send to the continent.
Africa CDC distributes COVID-19 vaccines to AU member countries: