WHO advocates ‘seven-fold rise’ in COVID-19 vaccine shipments for Africa


The World Health Organisation, WHO says COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Africa must rise from about 20 million per month to 150 million each month on average.

WHO, Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said this during a virtual news conference on Thursday.

According to her, the rise is necessary if the continent is to fully vaccinate 70 per cent of its people by September 2022.

Moeti said the 70 per cent target was agreed at the global COVID-19 summit hosted by the United States of America on the margins of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly this week.

According to her, at the summit, the United States pledged to share 500 million more COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries between now and 2021, bringing its total pledges to more than 1.1 billion doses.

“The global COVID-19 summit was a dose of hope for Africa and we commend pledges to share more vaccines, save lives and build back better.

“It is the kind of international solidarity that will help to end the pandemic.

“This is about life and death for potential millions of Africans, so there is no time to waste in getting these shipments moving,’’ she said

 Moeti further explained that the COVAX Facility, the global platform to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, had been forced to slash planned deliveries to Africa by 25 per cent in 2021, due to global supply shortages and export bans.

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