‘Extreme’ vaccine discrimination risks leaving Africa behind

One in 15 Africans are fully vaccinated, against nearly 70% in the G7 group of richer nations.

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Africa has very low chances of overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic unless the 70% population of Africa is vaccinated by end of 2022. Extreme vaccine discrimination is leaving the continent behind.

When the Omicron variant was found in Southern Africa, they heightened claims that low vaccination rates can stirred up viral mutation, which can spread to countries where rates are higher. Five of Africa’s 54 countries are on track to reach a World Health Organisation target of fully vaccination by 40% of the population by end of December.

One in 15 Africans are fully vaccinated, against nearly 70% in the G7 group of richer nations, according to data from the foundation, which was set up by the Sudanese telecoms billionaire to promote better governance and economic development in Africa.

“From early in this crisis, our Foundation and other African voices have been warning that an un-vaccinated Africa could become a perfect incubator for variants,” its chair Mo Ibrahim said in a statement. “The emergence of Omicron reminds us that COVID-19 remains a global threat, and that vaccinating the whole world is the only way forward,” he added.

“Yet we continue to live with extreme vaccine discrimination, and Africa in particular is being left behind. “Vaccines have been in short supply in Africa after developed countries secured initial orders from pharmaceutical companies and the global vaccine-sharing programme, COVAX, got off to a slow start.

Deliveries of vaccines to Africa have picked up in recent months, but weak healthcare systems and limited infrastructure are holding back rollouts once they arrive, the report said.

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