WHO warns of new Covid wave in Africa

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Dr Matshidiso Moeti. Picture: Twitter
Dr Matshidiso Moeti. Picture: Twitter
  • WHO says the delay in vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India means that the risk of a new wave of infections remains high in Africa.
  • The organisation added that new variants could unleash a "third wave" on the continent.
  • Only just under half of the 37 million doses received in Africa have been administered so far.


The World Health Organisation on Thursday warned of a new wave of Covid-19 infections in Africa due to delayed vaccine supplies, a slow rollout and new variants.

The African bureau of the UN agency said the continent had to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of vaccine rollouts.

"The delay in the delivery of vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India earmarked for Africa, the delay in the deployment of vaccines and the emergence of new variants means that the risk of a new wave of infections remains very high in Africa," it said in a statement.

It added that new variants such as the ones that emerged in India and South Africa could unleash a "third wave" on the continent.

"The tragedy in India does not have to happen here in Africa, but we must all be on the highest possible alert," said regional WHO director Matshidiso Moeti.

"While we call for vaccine equity, Africa must also knuckle down and make the best of what we have. We must get all the doses we have into people's arms."

Some African countries had been exemplary in deploying vaccines, the WHO said, without naming them.

But it added that in spite of this, only just under "half of the 37 million doses received in Africa have been administered so far".

Africa now accounts for only one percent of vaccine doses administered globally, the WHO said - down from two percent a few weeks ago, as other regions' rollouts are progressing much faster.

The first vaccines deliveries to 41 African countries under the Covax scheme began in March but nine countries have so far administered only a quarter of the doses received, while 15 countries have used less than half of their allocations.

The vaccination rate in Africa is the world's lowest. Globally an average of 150 vaccine doses per 1 000 people have been administered, but in sub-Saharan Africa it is hardly eight doses per 1m000, according to the WHO.


Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
That's an unnecessary procedure
17% - 730 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 323 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 3361 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.00
+0.2%
Rand - Pound
19.58
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.78
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.67
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Gold
1,811.52
-0.0%
Silver
26.99
0.0%
Palladium
2,772.86
-1.2%
Platinum
1,124.78
+0.4%
Brent Crude
74.39
+0.5%
Top 40
61,062
0.0%
All Share
67,311
0.0%
Resource 10
64,119
0.0%
Industrial 25
88,248
0.0%
Financial 15
13,596
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo