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Africa May Get 30% of Covid-19 Vaccine Goal by February, Says WHO

People wearing protective face masks stand in a queue to receive food aid amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Itireleng informal settlement, near Laudium suburb in Pretoria, South Africa, May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

People wearing protective face masks stand in a queue to receive food aid amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Itireleng informal settlement, near Laudium suburb in Pretoria, South Africa, May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the vast disparity in vaccination rates between rich and poor countries a solvable problem.

The World Health Organisation and partners say they hope to provide Africa with about 30% of the COVID-19 vaccines they need by February, half of the 60% goal African leaders had aimed for by the end of this year. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the vast disparity in vaccination rates between rich and poor countries a solvable problem. He again called for pharmaceutical companies to prioritize the U.N. backed initiative known as COVAX to share vaccines globally. Currently, fewer than 4% of people in Africa have been fully immunized. Most of the 5.7 billion doses administered have gone to about 10 countries. Most vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna have gone to wealthy countries, many of whom are considering plans to use booster shots. Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of vaccines alliance Gavi, says the COVAX program expects to have 1.4 billion doses ready for delivery by the end of this year, about one quarter fewer than its original goal.

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first published:September 14, 2021, 23:25 IST