WHO Africa: 30% inoculation target by end of year still attainable

This comes with Cabinet's announcement that the vaccination of South Africans aged between 18 and 35 years will be open from Friday.

Guinea Bissau received 302,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on 13 August 2021, donated by the USA through the Covax facility. Picture: World Health Organization African Region/Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - WHO Africa experts say the target to have 30% of Africa's population vaccinated by the end of this year was still reachable.

This comes with Cabinet's announcement that the vaccination of South Africans aged between 18 and 35 years will be open from Friday. Up to now, only 2% of Africans are fully vaccinated.

The global health body said it took four months for the Delta coronavirus variant to spread to 30 African countries.

This is compared to the Alpha variant, which took twice as long to spread to the same number of countries.

More than 7.3 million COVID-19 cases have been recorded on the continent since the start of the pandemic; 185,000 people have died from the disease.

WHO regional director Dr Matshidiso Moeti said the third wave on the continent as a whole was beginning to plateau.

“We are hopeful that the Covax shipments that keep ramping up to reach 20% of vaccinations by the end of this year and coupled with deliveries from the African Union, WHO hopes the target of 30% our people by the end of the year is still within our reach.”

Moeti urged countries to bolster public health measures, including testing, to better understand where the virus was circulating.

“However, the situation continues to look very fragile. More countries are reporting variants of concern with the Alpha now in 44 African countries, Delta in 30 countries and the Gamma in four.”

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