Africa administers 13.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including 12 million AstraZeneca without blood clots
London, April 16, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Covid-19 vaccines deployment in Africa is continuing to progress after a slow start. The continent has now administered more than 13.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including 12 million #AstraZeneca – #COVID19 vaccine doses, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.
The health agency noted that the continent has not reports a case of blood clots following vaccination, with most of the adverse events involving only mild to moderate side effects.
Other regions around the globe have had reports of blood coagulation and even death following vaccination. WHO officials in Africa are however confident in the vaccines that have been approved for emergency use on the continent.
More than 13.6 million – including 12 million #AstraZeneca – #COVID19 vaccine doses have been administered in #Africa.— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) April 15, 2021
Reports following vaccination have been involving only mild to moderate side effects — with no cases of blood reported to date. https://t.co/ofvm2VwG5X pic.twitter.com/UGyFEipFcF
While acknowledging that mass vaccinations were not risk-free, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, rallied for the continuation of the inoculations, noting that it is an important step in tackling the pandemic.
“To significantly slow down COVID-19 we must avert serious illness, hospitalization and death. Every vaccine shot given moves us a step closer to ending this pandemic,” he said. “But this historic endeavour is not risk-free. African countries have put in place stringent regulations and are monitoring for side effects and any severe adverse events following vaccination. WHO is working closely with countries to manage potential risks.”
Various countries globally have halted the use of the use of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, citing possible links to adverse side effects.
WHO however remains confident in the jabs, noting that “the benefits of receiving AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccine greatly outweigh the risks.”
Dr. Moeti also acknowledged inequality in vaccine distribution globally, with Africa lagging behind in the exercise.
“In high-income countries, one in four people on average has received a COVID-19 vaccine compared with just one in 500 in lower-income countries, which includes many African countries,” she said.
WHO has urged Africa to develop its own vaccine manufacturing capacity to stop relying largely on importations which are particularly vulnerable to delays during the pandemic.
By Thursday, Africa had reported 4,375,876 confirmed COVID-19 infections with 116,506 deaths.
A recent spike in new cases prompted some countries on the continent to declare a third wave of the virus, one some experts warns is deadlier than those experienced previously.
In many cases, various government-imposed containment measures remain in place, including lockdowns, curfews and mandatory wearing of face coverings