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COVID vaccination now stagnant in Africa, says WHO

COVID vaccination now stagnant in Africa, says WHO
October 22
07:49 2022

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says COVID-19 vaccination coverage has stagnated in half of the African countries.

The organisation said the number of doses administered monthly in Africa declined by over 50 percent between July and September.

It, however, noted that while Africa is far from reaching the year-end global target of vaccinating 70 percent of the population, some progress has been made in vaccinating high-risk population groups.

“The WHO analysis shows that the percentage of people with complete primary vaccination series (one dose for Johnson and Johnson and two doses for other vaccines) has barely budged in 27 out of 54 African countries in the past two months (17 August – 16 October 2022). In addition, in September, 23 million doses were given, 18% less than the number registered in August, and 51% less than the 47 million doses administered in July,” the statement reads.

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“The number of doses provided last month is also about a one-third of the peak of the 63 million doses reached in February 2022. Overall, as of 16 October 2022, just 24% of the continent’s population had completed their primary vaccination series compared with the coverage of 64% at the global level.

“However, there are signs of improvement this month, with 22 million doses given as of 16 October 2022, representing 95% of the total administered in September. Liberia has now joined Mauritius and Seychelles as one of three countries to surpass 70% of people with full vaccination coverage. Rwanda is on the verge of achieving this milestone as well.

“Other small signs of progress are that the number of countries with less than 10% of people completing their primary series has dropped from 26 in December 2021 to five now. Despite these achievements, at the current pace of vaccination, Africa is expected to meet the global target of 70% of people with complete primary vaccination series by April 2025.”

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Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said although the end of the pandemic is within sight, as long as Africa lags behind the rest of the world in vaccination, the virus can bounce back.

“I urge countries to make our goal of reaching every district a reality by improving preparations for vaccination campaigns,” she said.

According to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), 46,064,306 people — representing 41.2 percent of eligible individuals in Nigeria — have been fully vaccinated.

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