CONGO. Brazzaville: Vaccine deliveries to African countries have shown signs of progress, the World Health Organization (WHO), disclosed on Thursday.
Just as the Organization stated that the continent had marked its worst pandemic week but that the worst is yet to come as the COVID-19 cases continue to climb sharply.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti disclosed this during a virtual press conference facilitated by APO Group on Thursday.
According to Moeti, COVID-19 cases have risen for seven consecutive weeks since the onset of the third wave on 3 May 2021.
“During the week ending 4 July, more than 251,000 new COVID-19 cases were recorded on the continent, amounting to a 20% increase over the previous week and a 12% jump from the January peak.
“Sixteen African countries are now in resurgence, with Malawi and Senegal added this week. The Delta variant has been detected in 10 of these countries.
“The end to this precipitous rise is still weeks away. Cases are doubling now every 18 days, compared with every 21 days only a week ago. We can still break the chain of transmission by testing, isolating contacts and cases and following key public health measures“, Moeti stated.
Speaking about the COVID-19 deliveries, the Regional Director for Africa said that the vaccine deliveries from COVAX have increased in the past two weeks.
“After almost grinding to a halt in May and early June, vaccine deliveries from the COVAX Facility are gathering momentum.
“In the past two weeks, more than 1.6 million doses were delivered to Africa through COVAX. More than 20 million Johnson and Johnson/Janssen vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses are expected to arrive imminently from the United States through COVAX, in coordination with the African Union.
“49 countries have been notified of the allocations they will receive. Other significant donations from Norway and Sweden are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.”
Vaccines Delivered to Africa so far
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that 66 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to Africa.
These include 40 million doses secured through bilateral deals, 25 million COVAX-supplied doses and 800,000 doses supplied by the African Union African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team.
According to Moeti, the 50 million doses administered to date in Africa account for just 1.6 per cent of doses administered globally adding that less than two per cent are now fully vaccinated.
“19 countries have used more than 80% of their COVAX-supplied doses, while 31 countries have used more than 50%. With much larger COVID-19 vaccine deliveries expected to arrive in July and August, African countries must use this time to prepare to rapidly expand the roll-out.”