Only 1.6% of African population has been vaccinated against COVID - WHO Africa

WHO Africa has said that the COVID-19 pandemic's third wave had been the fastest rising surge so far due to pandemic fatigue, coupled with the presence of more transmissible coronavirus variants and the continent's extremely low vaccine coverage rate.

FILE: A traveller wears a face mask, as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, while he waits for an intercity bus at the Namirembe Bus Park in Kampala, Uganda, on 4 June 2020, the first day of re-opening public transport. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN – The latest figures show that only 21 million people or 1.6% of the African population have so far been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Addressing a virtual media conference of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO Regional Director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, reiterated the importance of maintaining the momentum of current vaccine supplies to the continent.

The target is to have at least 30% of the continent's population fully vaccinated by the end of this year.

WHO Africa has said that the COVID-19 pandemic's third wave had been the fastest rising surge so far due to pandemic fatigue, coupled with the presence of more transmissible coronavirus variants and the continent's extremely low vaccine coverage rate.

Dr Moeti said that vaccine deliveries to the continent were however picking up pace.

“Over the past week alone, 3.8 million vaccine doses were delivered to 13 countries through the Covax facility – bringing the total doses delivered to the continent to 82 million.”

Moeti said that these vaccines were part of 60 million doses that COVAX has allocated to 49 African countries to be delivered between now and September.

Around 167,000 people on the continent have succumbed to COVID-19.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.