With Africa stepping up in its efforts against Coronavirus through widespread vaccination, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has duly recognized and commended the continent for the notable progress made so far in vaccinating its citizens against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a virtual press conference held at the behest of the APO Group, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, said even though Africa received the vaccines late and in limited quantities, it was impressed with the level of grounds covered.
A collective effort from governments in Africa has seen the administration of nearly seven million COVID-19 vaccine doses in just two weeks of the reception of the COVAX-funded AstraZeneca vaccines. The commendation is unique due to the impressive nature of action from Africa despite receiving the vaccine late and in limited quantity. Dr. Moeti noted that:
“Although Africa received vaccines late and in limited quantities, a lot of ground has been covered in a short space of time. This is due to the Continent’s vast experience in mass vaccination campaigns and the determination of its leaders and people to effectively curb COVID-19.
“Compared with countries in other regions that accessed vaccines much earlier, the initial rollout phase in some African countries has reached a far higher number of people.”
Africa’s access to the Covid19 vaccines has largely been through the COVAX Facility, bilateral deals and donations, and so far, 38 African countries have received over 25 million COVID-19 vaccines and 30 have commenced action through massive vaccination campaigns with leaders taking the initiative to receive the first jabs in order to inspire citizens to follow suit.