WHO Urges Africa to Prepare for Vaccine Rollout

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WHO Urges Africa to Prepare for Vaccine Rollout

On Thursday the World Health Organization (WHO) urged the African continent to intensify its preparations for obtaining a coronavirus vaccine as it is only 33 percent ready. The agency warned that “the continent is far from ready for a mass vaccination”

This percentage, calculated on the basis of data supplied by 40 countries on the continent, is for now clearly lower than the target of 80 percent, according to the organization.

“Planning and preparation will be critical to this unprecedented task,” said the WHO regional director, Matshidiso Moeti, in a virtual press conference. He specified that the goal is to vaccinate 3 percent of Africans by March 2021 and 20 percent by the end of next year.

The main shortcomings are the lack of financing, measurement instruments and communication with the populations, and to remedy this “international solidarity will be imperative,” he said.

The WHO assesses the cost of vaccinating only priority populations in Africa at about 4.8 billion euros.

The African countries They will be able to benefit from part of the Covax vaccine purchase and distribution system, but also from World Bank financing.

Even though Africa It is less affected than most of the other continents by the pandemic, with about 50 thousand deaths and 2.1 million registered cases, there are localized outbreaks especially in SSouth Africa and Maghreb, subray Moeti.