Africa Is Not Prepared For COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout — WHO

Africa Is Not Prepared For COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout — WHO 3

The World Health Organization has stated that Africa is not yet ready to Coronavirus vaccine rollout.

WHO urged African countries to improve their capacity to vaccinate populations against COVID-19.

With three coronavirus vaccines now showing efficacy rates of 70 percent or more, the UN body called on Africa to “ramp up” preparations for “the continent’s largest-ever immunisation drive”.

The African region is so far only 33 percent ready to roll out Covid-19 vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement.

That figure, based on data provided by 40 countries on a series of “readiness criteria”, is well below a desired 80 percent benchmark.

“Planning and preparation will make or break this unprecedented endeavour,” WHO Africa Director Matshidiso Moeti said during a virtual press briefing.

The main concerns are a lack of adequate funding plans, monitoring tools and community outreach.

“There are key logistical and financing gaps where international solidarity will be imperative,” Moeti said.

The WHO estimates that rolling out a Covid-19 vaccine to just priority populations in Africa will cost around $5.7 billion (4.8 billion euros).

African countries will be partially subsidised by the COVAX global Covid-19 distribution scheme.

The World Bank has also set aside $12 billion (10.1 billion euros) to help developing countries finance their immunisation programs.

Moeti said the aim was to vaccinate three percent of Africa’s population by March 2021, and 20 percent by the end of the year.

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