COVID-19 surge in India impacting vaccine flows to Africa
World Health Organization (WHO) officials said that vaccine deliveries to Africa ground to a near halt this month, as India diverted doses for domestic use.
CAPE TOWN - The COVID-19 pandemic's grip on India has impacted the flow of vaccines to Africa.
World Health Organization (WHO) officials said that vaccine deliveries to the continent ground to a near halt this month, as India diverted doses for domestic use.
India's Serum Institute produces the AstraZeneca vaccine distributed to Africa through the World Health Organization's COVAX mechanism.
Delighted that some #COVID19 vaccine donations announced by @Potus @JoeBiden will go through the #COVAX facility. Dose sharing from high-income countries is key to alleviating Africas growing vaccine supply crisis & COVAX is tried, tested & good to go. https://t.co/JNU25gkPRzDr Matshidiso Moeti (@MoetiTshidi) May 20, 2021
Of the 66 million expected vaccine doses, 18.2 million were received between February and May.
WHO regional director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said that around 127,000 people on the continent had died of the disease and 4.7 million COVID-19 cases were recorded.
"So far, 24 million Africans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 5.5 million have received two doses," she said.
Regional director for the World Bank's Africa region, Dena Ringold, said that delays in the vaccine rollout would have a severe impact on economies.
"In addition to the loss of life and human capital, we estimate that every month of delay in the provision of the COVID-19 vaccine has a potential to cost the African content close to $14 billion in lost GDP. So this is an economic and social crisis," Ringold said.