Africa needs 700 million doses for 30% vaccination this year

The World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Africa said today that the continent needs 700 million doses of the covid-19 vaccine to reach the 30% coverage target by the end of the year.

According to Lusa, Matshidiso Moeti was speaking during the weekly conference of the African Union Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on the evolution of the pandemic on the continent, during which she expressed satisfaction with some "positive signs" regarding vaccination.

In this regard, he mentioned that during the last week, 3.8 million doses of vaccines were delivered to 13 African countries through the COVAX mechanism (which aims at the purchase and subsequent distribution of vaccines to the poorest countries), which brings to 82 million doses delivered in the region.

"These vaccines that were recently delivered are part of 60 million doses that have been allocated to 49 African countries and are due to be shipped by September.

Despite these figures, Matshidiso Moeti stressed that Africa still needs more than 700 million doses to reach the 30% coverage target by the end of the year.

Moeti also said that COVAX has signed agreements with Sinopharm and Sinovac (China) for the supply of 110 million doses to low-income countries, of which 32.5 million will be coming to the continent.

"COVAX is confident of meeting its goal of delivering at least 520 million doses to Africa by the end of 2021," he noted.

Moeti also advised countries to mobilize resources, including financial, for vaccine-related activities, such as logistics or personnel, in order to reach as many people as possible, given the expected flow of vaccines.

And he said that WHO has deployed more than 700 staff and consultants to support national authorities in responding to covid-19.

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