from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – AFRICA is set to receive one billion doses of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines by the end of this year.
These include 700 million free doses pledged by international donors under the global COVAX finance initiative,.
This would be enough to vaccinate at least 27 percent of Africa’s total population of more than 1,2 billion people.
Strive Masiyiwa, the African Union Special Envoy on the COVID-19 pandemic, confirmed the pledge.
Masiyiwa, the Zimbabwean-born entrepreneur and philanthropist, disclosed the rollout of the vaccines into the continent would begin in February.
“Preparations for rolling out large volumes of vaccines need to start right away because the task is not going to be easy,” he said.
It is anticipated each country would have received the doses by April.
A vaccine is hailed as the biggest breakthrough against the pandemic that broke out at the end of 2019.
More than 103 million cases have been confirmed globally, including over 2,2 million deaths.
Africa has registered an excess of 90 500 deaths from more than 3,569 million cases.
The continent has lagged behind others in the development and use of vaccines.
Since the outbreak, countries have relied on lockdowns, which have impacted on economies.
– CAJ News