AU increases its target to vaccinate 70% of Africa’s population by December

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The African Union (AU) says it has increased its target to vaccinate Africa’s population to 70% coverage by the end of next year. This comes after a two-day meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccine alliance: GAVI, and other stakeholders in Geneva.

The initial target was 60% but commitments and support offered in the meetings allowed for the goals to be stretched.

The AU says it’s not looking for donations for member state rollouts but for access to be able to purchase vaccines freely.

The continental body says export restrictions from several countries are making it difficult to procure the much-needed drug.

Less than 3.5% of African’s population is fully vaccinated. The biggest hurdle now is lack of access to the vaccines and not purchasing power. This is according to African Union Special Envoy on COVID-19, Strive Masiyiwa.

The World Health Organization re-committed its support to African member states to ensure each country is ready for mass rollouts when supply becomes steady. The UN agency and its partners have again called on manufacturers and rich nations to prioritise the continent.

To get Africa at 70% vaccine coverage by the end of 2022 – 300 billion dollars in funding is needed. The UN Economic Commission for Africa says member states still need to be granted drawing rights.

Afrixembank will continue being the financing partner for the AU Vaccination Acquisition mechanism.

WHO updates on Africa and Covid-19 vaccine equity: