All 54 countries on the African continent have expressed a particular interest in access to vaccines, through the Covax mechanism, as part of this frantic fight against the Covid-19 contamination chain. According to the World Health Organization (Who) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s goal will be to reach at least 20% of the African population by 2021 during a virtual conference.
The vaccination campaign started in Western countries will soon be effective in Africa. The Covax system, co-led by the Coalition for Innovations in Outbreak Preparedness, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and WHO, has guaranteed the provision of 2 billion vaccine doses to five producers, with purchase options of more than one billion additional doses.
According to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, African countries will benefit from 30 million doses by March. An amount that will vaccinate 3% of the population. The priority targets, as in most countries that have already started vaccination, remain health professionals and the elderly.
The Director deplores the difficulty for African countries to quickly access the vaccine. In fact, in Africa, only Guinea was able to acquire a vaccine and it was only administered to 25 people. In addition, Seychelles, a high-income country, is the only state on the continent to have launched a national vaccination campaign. “It is profoundly unfair that the most vulnerable Africans are being forced to wait for vaccines, while populations with lower risks in rich countries are being kept safe,” says Dr Matshidiso Moeti.