Africa to vaccinate 60% of population against COVID-19 in 2-3 years
London, Dec. 3, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Africa aims to have 60% of the continent’s population vaccinated against the coronavirus within the next two to three years, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Thursday.
The continent of 1.3 billion people has recorded more than 2.2 million confirmed coronavirus infections, according to a Reuters tally.
Over 2.1 million confirmed #COVID19 cases on the African continent – with more than 1.8 million recoveries & 52,000 deaths cumulatively.— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) December 2, 2020
View country figures & more with the WHO African Region COVID-19 Dashboard: https://t.co/FKav40Cbdd pic.twitter.com/LVRnRnypmn
African health officials are taking heart in vaccine progress, but concerns are growing that the continent of 1.3 billion people will be near the end of the line in obtaining doses. Nkengasong isn’t sure whether vaccines will be available in Africa before the second quarter of next year.
“We hope that for this to be meaningful, our 60% must be reached in the next two to three years. We should be deliberate in this,” said John Nkengasong, director of Africa CDC, adding that, “If the delay takes us to four to five years then the virus will be endemic in our communities.”
Nkengasong said that there were logistical problems to overcome in Africa, including how to keep vaccines cold.
“We have a window from now to January and February to keep strengthening our systems, which is the refrigeration,” said Nkengasong.
2.2 million out of Africa’s 1.3 billion people have been infected by COVID-19, according to a Reuters tally.
Some European countries expect to start rolling out vaccination campaigns in the next few weeks, but the control group said that vaccinations were unlikely to start in Africa until midway through next year.