During the UN General Assembly, US President Joe Biden invited the international community to a virtual summit to resume anti-Covid vaccination around the world. The ambition is great: to vaccinate 70% of the population in each country on the planet at the next General Assembly. In Africa, we are starting far because less than 4% of the continent has received a first dose.
If Africa has registered 8 million cases of Covid and 200,000 deaths since the epidemic began, these are eight and six times fewer, respectively, than in Europe. But if the number of new cases has decreased for four weeks across the continent, this slowdown is much slower than in the first wave.
There are still 110,000 new cases and 3,000 deaths of the coronavirus in one week, mainly in South Africa, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Ethiopia. Sixteen countries are also in the middle of the third wave and falls are increasing in Angola, Beninou and the Ivory Coast.
Delayed deliveries to Africa That is why researchers at the WHO are worried. They are afraid of a sudden resurgence of the epidemic in the coming months, during the celebration of this year’s celebration.
Because Africa’s population is currently very little vaccinated: 3 to 4% have received a first dose, compared to 60% in rich countries that already have their third injection. Some countries such as Burundi or Eritrea have not even started the vaccination campaign against Covid.
More than the population’s resistance to the vaccine, it is the delay in deliveries to Africa that is the reason: there are 500 million doses of the Covax unit missing to achieve its goal, namely to vaccinate 40% of the African population. In the end of the year.
In addition, international solidarity, which we have called for, has failed. We have seen each country play more or less solo. Unfortunately, this is a situation that risks facing everyone.
Richard Mihigo (WHO), on Vaccination in Africa: “It’s an Observation of Global Failure”
► See also: Anti-Covid vaccine: millions of doses produced in South Africa sent to Europe