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WHO: Only 27 percent of health workers in Africa fully vaccinated against COVID

WHO: Only 27 percent of health workers in Africa fully vaccinated against COVID
November 25
20:07 2021

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says “only one in four” health workers — representing 27 percent — have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The WHO disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday after a virtual media briefing.

According to the organisation, the figures were based on an analysis, and shows that more needs to be done in African countries to improve access to vaccination.

“Only 27% of health workers in Africa have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving the bulk of the workforce on the frontlines against the pandemic unprotected, a preliminary analysis by World Health Organization (WHO) shows,” the statement reads.

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“Analysis of data reported from 25 countries finds that since March 2021, 1.3 million health workers were fully vaccinated, with just six countries reaching more than 90%, while nine countries have fully vaccinated less than 40%.

“In sharp contrast, a recent WHO global study of 22 mostly high-income countries reported that above 80% of their health and care workers are fully vaccinated.”

Speaking on the development, Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, called on countries to make vaccination for health workers a priority.

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“The majority of Africa’s health workers are still missing out on vaccines and remain dangerously exposed to severe COVID-19 infection. Unless our doctors, nurses and other frontline workers get full protection we risk a blowback in the efforts to curb this disease. We must ensure our health facilities are safe working environments,” she said.

“With a new surge in cases looming over Africa following the end-of-year festive season, countries must urgently speed up the rollout of vaccines to health care workers.”

Also present at the briefing were Apetsianyi Yawa, coordinator, technical working group for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, Togo; Michael Ekuma Nnachi, national president, National Association of Nigeria Nurses/Midwives, Nigeria; Richard Mihigo, coordinator, immunisation and vaccines development programme, WHO regional office for Africa, and Thierno Balde, regional COVID-19 deputy incident manager, WHO regional office for Africa.

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