COVID-19 vaccination programmes have taken off across Africa, with specific focus on healthcare workers to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the continent is still facing significant challenges in securing access to COVID-19 vaccines needed to achieve its goal of vaccinating at least 60% of the continent’s population.
As at 15 March, 23.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been distributed across the continent.
Africa’s vaccine efforts are administered by the COVAX Facility, aimed to provide donor-funded vaccines to lower-income countries.
Currently, South Africa has administered 263 878 Johnson & Johnson vaccines to healthcare workers across the country as at 31 March 2021.
Below is a list of some of the COVID-19 vaccines distributed among countries in the African continent:
According to the Africa CDC, the AstraZeneca vaccine, allocated primarily by the COVAX facility, accounts for 20.5 million (87%) doses and is the main vaccine used in Africa.
Countries that have received the vaccine include Morocco, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mozambique, eSwatini and Botswana.
Other countries include Mauritius, Seychelles, Mali, Cameroon, Sudan, Gambia and Nigeria.
In February, South Africa put the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on hold after data showed that it gave minimal protection against mild to moderate infection caused by the 501.V2 Variant.
The DRC, Mali and Cameroon have since put the use of the vaccine on hold following concerns in some European countries over its safety.
In the video below, In the video below, SABC News Correspondent in London Laura Makin Isherwood shares more on European countries halting the use of AstraZeneca vaccine:
2. Johnson & Johnson
South Africa is currently the only country in the continent administering the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine.
By the end of March, the country had secured an additional 30 million J&J vaccines.
On Monday, the drugmaker also announced a deal to secure the African Union with up to 400 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by the third quarter of the year.
In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Aspen facility to produce 30 million vaccine doses for SA in April:
In February, Rwanda started rolling out vaccinations to healthcare workers after it had secured around 1 000 doses of the Moderna jab.
Rwanda became the first African country to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine early in March, with over 100 000 doses delivered.
In mid-March, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) approved the emergency use application of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the drugmaker.
As seen in a Reuters report, SAHPRA said its approval was subject to further safety and efficacy surveillance and monitoring its efficacy against the dominant 501.V2 Variant.
South Africa’s government had ordered 200 million doses of the vaccine.
China has donated its Sinopharm vaccine to Zimbabwe, Egypt, Equitorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Tunisia and Namibia.
Senegal also purchased doses of the vaccine from China, and made donations to neighbouring Gambia.
Seychelles has also received doses of the vaccine.
6. Sputnik V
Some of the experimental doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine have been donated to Guinea.
Nigeria and Algeria also received doses of the vaccine last month.
-Information gathered from the Africa CDC, Reuters and World Health Organisation