Many Africans who have received their first COVID-19 vaccine do not know when they will get a second shot because deliveries are delayed, the continent’s top public health official said on Thursday. “We cannot predict when the second doses will come and that is not good for our vaccination programme,” John Nkengasong, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), told reporters on Thursday. Africa lags behind most other regions in COVID-19 vaccinations, with just less than 14 million doses having been administered on the continent of 1.3 billion, according to the Africa CDC. Ghana, for example, has administered around 742,000 doses of the 815,000 shots it has so far received and will run out by the end of next week. So far, the majority of the vaccines available in African countries have been delivered via the World Health Organization-backed COVAX facility. COVAX aims to deliver 600 million shots to some 40 African countries this year, enough to vaccinate 20% of their populations. The majority of those doses are AstraZeneca shots produced by the Serum Insitute of India. But last month, India suspended its exports to meet rising domestic demand amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
SOURCE: DAILY MAVERICK