Less than 3.5% of Africans are vaccinated against COVID-19, far short of its official target of 60%, Director of Africa’s Centers for Disease Control, John Nkengasong, said on Tuesday.

World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the same briefing that the continent was being “left behind by the rest of the world” and that this would allow the coronavirus to keep circulating.

Meanwhile, African Union Special Envoy on COVID-19, Strive Masiyiwa said the continent is not relying on vaccine donations.

He says member states are prepared and able to pay for vaccines but are being denied access to the drugs due to export restrictions in several countries.

Masiyiwa was speaking during the weekly World Health Organisation briefing on COVID-19 in Geneva.

Less than 4% of the continent’s population is fully vaccinated, with doses slowly trickling in. -Additional reporting by Reuters

AU Special Envoy on COVID-19 says Africa is not relying on vaccine donations: