The World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press conference that more than 5.7 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of them in Africa,
Ghebreyesus informed that, so far, just two countries in Africa have reached the 40% target, the lowest of any region.
“That’s not because African countries don’t have the capacity or experience to roll out COVID-19 vaccines. It’s because they’ve been left behind by the rest of the world,” he said.
Ghebreyesus explained that “this leaves people at high risk of disease and death, exposed to a deadly virus against which many other people around the world enjoy protection.”
Ghebreyesus pointed to several challenges, with manufacturers prioritizing bilateral deals and many high-income countries tying up the global supply of shots.
He also highlighted a similar initiative, established by the African Union, the COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, known as AVAT.