Four countries in Africa enter their fourth wave of COVID-19 infections: Africa CDC

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Four countries in Africa have entered their fourth wave of surging COVID-19 infections. According to the Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC), Algeria, Kenya, Somalia, and Tunisia are seeing infections rise again for the fourth time since the pandemic.

Less than 2% of the continent’s population is fully vaccinated as countries continue to struggle in securing COVID-19 vaccine doses.

CDC Director, John Nkengasong says he is also worried about the high positivity rates for the majority of member states especially after 30 reported the Delta variant.

“11.5% represents a very high rate of positivity which means extensive community spreads. 31 member states reporting positivity rates that are even higher than 12%. That doe not bode well for control. Let me speak to what we are doing. We continue to support member states to roll out vaccination campaigns.”

Nkengasong says 77 million doses of vaccines have been administered however it only sits at a population of over 30-percent who are fully vaccinated.

“Just to give you some figures. Morocco’s full vaccination coverage stands at 30.45%, South Africa 0.5%, and Tunisia 10.5%. So it’s some good movement there in terms of Morocco and Tunisia. But the overall continent lags behind.”

Meanwhile, Nkengasong has ruled out any delivery of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. He says the challenges faced by the manufacturing plant in India means procurement on that drug cannot be guaranteed.

The CDC has secured a deal with Johnson and Johnson to provide up to 400-million doses of its singular dose vaccine over the next year.

Nkengasong says those countries which have started their vaccination campaigns with AstraZeneca should administer booster shoots with vaccines that are currently available to them.

Nkengasong says that Africa CDC will host its first public health conference in December. This is so African countries can share knowledge and expertise that will help the continent better prepare for the next pandemic.