According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India have been sluggish, and new pandemic variants have placed Africa at risk of a new outbreak of infections.
Vaccine shortages, according to the World Health Organization, are causing African countries to fall further behind the rest of the world.
The continent currently only accounts for 1% of all vaccines administered globally, down from 2% only a few weeks earlier.
According to estimates, 19 million of the 37 million COVID-19 vaccine doses sent to Africa have been administered.
At a press conference on Thursday, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, described the situation as “a race against time and the virus.”
“Given the limited supply we recommend that countries prioritize giving the first dose to as many high-risk people as possible in the shortest amount of time”, she said.
In Nigeria, the government halted vaccinations so that anyone who had already received the first shot could take the second.
A total of 150 doses of the vaccine have been given out every 1000 people around the world. It’s about 8 doses per 1000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The continent is now at risk of a third wave, according to new versions. At least one African nation has identified the B.1.617 version, which was first discovered in India.
The B1.351 strain, which originated in South Africa, has spread to 23 African countries, while the B1.1.7 strain, which originated in the United Kingdom, has spread to 20 countries.
Moeti went on to say that the crisis in India did not have to happen in Africa, and that countries should be on high alert.
The director encouraged governments to keep effective monitoring and tracking programs in place, as well as to improve their care capabilities.
Now is the time, according to Moeti, to increase the availability of essential medications, such as medical oxygen, and ensure that there are enough beds for seriously ill patients.