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The West is Making it Hard for Africa to Meet Vaccinating Targets

Rich nations would do better to send vaccines to Africa to help fight the global Covid-19 pandemic rather than hoarding them for third-dose booster shots that scientific evidence does not back, the AU’s top health official said on Thursday. Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) director John Nkengasong told a news conference he was baffled that some rich countries were disregarding World Health Organisation (WHO) advice to hold off on administering booster shots until more people were fully vaccinated worldwide. The global programme providing Covid-19 vaccines to poor countries is on course to fall nearly 30% short of its previous goal of 2-billion shots in 2021, the international organisations running it said on Wednesday. The Covax programme also urged rich countries that had met their domestic needs to forfeit volumes rather than administer third shots. Nkengasong said such programmes in the West would make it hard for Africa to meet its target for vaccinating 60%-70% of people, for which it needed at least 1.6-billion doses.