The WHO has revealed Africa would need 20 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine within six weeks if those who have had their first shot are to get the second in time, the WHO said Thursday.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti for the World Health Organization, Africa underlined the importance of respecting the recommended interval of eight to 12 weeks between doses to ensure a recipient’s prolonged 81-percent protection rate.
“In addition to this urgent need, another 200 million doses of any WHO Emergency Use Listed COVID-19 vaccine are needed so that the continent can vaccinate 10 percent of its population by September 2021,” a statement from WHO read.
As of May 26, Africa had registered more than 4.7 million cases of coronavirus with nearly 130,000 deaths attributed to the virus.
Vaccination has been slowed down due to the ban on vaccine exportation in India, the main supplier of the AstraZeneca vaccine to COVAX.
Recall that COVAX initially aimed to deliver more than two billion doses to 92 of the world’s poorest countries this year. This goal might now seem unlikely as India grapples with a devastating resurgence of the disease.
The head of Africa’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has appealed to international communities to provide the required number of vaccine doses.
“We are not winning the vaccination battle in Africa,” Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong said on Thursday during a weekly media briefing in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
“Forty-three million doses of vaccines have been acquired, [of which] 23 million doses have been administered,” he said.