Machidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa, said that the goal of vaccinating 40% of the African population against the Corona virus by next December seems out of reach.
She noted that the ban on the export and storage of vaccines is slowing down the delivery of vaccines to Africa.
“It is time for vaccine manufacturers to open the gates and help those at greatest risk,” Moeti added.
She regretted that delays in applying for regulatory approval for new vaccines, along with the inability to boost production capacity at vaccine manufacturing sites, had restricted deliveries to Africa.
Moeti added that COVAX and other multilateral platforms are pressing rich countries to clarify timelines for donating vaccines to Africa.
She said that about 95 million additional doses are scheduled to arrive in Africa through the “COVAX” mechanism throughout the month of September, adding that the availability of larger stocks with a longer shelf life will enhance the fight against the epidemic on the continent.
Moeti warned that slow vaccination in Africa, where more than 8 million cases of COVID-19 and 204,821 deaths have been reported as of Thursday, could lead to the emergence of highly contagious variants.
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