Myriad of factors slow Africa’s vaccination drive

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

by SAVIOUS KWINIKA 
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) A GLOBAL health and humanitarian organisation has highlighted that lack of vaccines is not the only reason for the slow vaccination rollout in Africa.

Other issues persist such as inadequate funds, lack of trained professionals and hesitancy among the population to get the vaccine.

Project HOPE established that several factors include many countries not being able to reach priority groups because they are not equipped with up-to-date registration systems that allow to locate and register these priority individuals, while logistics and storage challenges prevail.

Many countries are using different vaccines, which created challenges such as keeping track of who gets what type of vaccine, differing requirements and training vaccinators to give different vaccines.

“There is a combination of challenges attributable to very low vaccine rollouts across Africa,” said Asefa Wondwossen, Deputy Regional Director for Africa at Project HOPE.

The official added, “We found out that even when some countries received vaccine doses, they were not always able to vaccinate en masse.”

Wondwossen said countries must now address these challenges to get rapidly more people inoculated.

“Every vaccine dose is like liquid gold. No country can afford to waste vaccine doses when variants are spreading, and lives are at stake.”

As of June 2, Africa had administered 59 percent of its vaccine supply, which translates to only 1,86 percent and 0,51 percent of the population receiving the first and second doses of the COVI-19 vaccine respectively.

For Africa, the aim is to vaccinate at least 20 percent of the population by providing up to 600 million doses by the end of 2021.

Last week, the World Health Organization warned that 47 of Africa’s 54 countries were set to miss the September target of vaccinating 10 percent of their populations unless the continent receives 225 million more doses.

As of Monday (today) Africa had reported over 5,092 million cases, including 135 114 deaths.

Globally, more than 176,842 million cases and over 3,822 million deaths have been confirmed.

– CAJ News

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