Vaccinations lag in Africa

Vaccinations lag in Africa

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Islam News – Only nine African countries have met a target of vaccinating 10 percent of their populations against Covid-19 by the end of September — a statistic that illustrates how far the continent is lagging behind global rates.

The W.H.O. set the benchmark this year as part of a push for countries to vaccinate at least 40 percent of their populations by the end of the year. So far, just 4 percent of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated, and the more advanced economies on the continent have outpaced their poorer neighbors.

“The main issue is that wealthy countries just haven’t donated to Covax, the vaccine-sharing initiative, in the way that they said they would,” my colleague Lynsey Chutel, who covers Southern Africa, said. “Mainly because they wanted to prioritize their own populations.”

The virus situation on the continent is often overlooked because the reported infection rate is currently low. So far, there have been about 6 million cases across the continent, according to the W.H.O. But that’s part of the problem, Lynsey said. A large population without immunity — either through vaccination or infection — offers more opportunities for the virus to mutate if there’s a large outbreak.

“And these new variants can be highly infectious, as we’ve seen with the Delta variant,” Lynsey said. If one emerges, she added, “then we’re kind of starting from scratch.”

Source: The New York Times