World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Gebreyesus said more than 5.9 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines have been used globally so far, but only 2% of this is in Africa
“More than 5.9 billion doses of vaccines have been used worldwide so far, but only 2% have been used in Africa. As a result, people in African countries remain at risk of contracting a deadly virus against which many other people around the world have protection”, – Gebreyesus told the briefing.
He said only two African countries had reached the 40% vaccination target so far. The WHO chief noted that this was the lowest of all the regions.
“This is not because African countries do not have the capacity or the expertise to deploy vaccination, but because they have been left behind by the rest of the world”, – emphasized Gebreyesus.
In his view, this ‘vaccine inequality’ leads to various negative consequences. In particular, it leads to social and economic destabilisation and increases the chances of the emergence of new virus variants that make vaccines less effective.
“The COVAX mechanism has currently delivered 260 million doses of vaccines to 141 countries. But, as you know, COVAX, has also faced a number of challenges. Manufacturers are prioritising bilateral deals with individual countries and many high-income countries are restricting global supply of vaccines”, – he summarised.