Only 1.1 per cent of the African population has received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine as wealthy nations report vaccinating at least half of their citizens.
With the current wave of virus mutations, experts are warning that hoarding of vaccines by wealthy nations has created a supply crunch on the African continent.
“The hoarding of Covid-19 vaccine by the developed world has posed significant threats in Africa, where new variants have been reported and could worsen community-based infections,” said Alice Kayongo, the regional policy and advocacy manager at AIDS Healthcare Foundation
According to the African Union and the Work Health Organization, roughly 14.5 per cent of the global population has been fully vaccinated.
At the end of July, 4.11 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered globally. This indicates that 28.2 per cent of the global population have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
However, most countries including Kenya are still struggling to vaccinate their population due to the global supply chain challenges.
Data shows that as at July 31, Kenya had received 2.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine after an additional 410,000 doses arrived in the country from UK last week.
The country, however, has been administering vaccines to priority groups, among them heath care workers, people of age 58 and above and the vulnerable group.
According to Africa CDC, seven African countries have exhausted all their vaccines, while those with few doses remaining are faced with a shortage for the second dose.
“There is a mistaken belief by some countries that they can vaccinate their populations and they will be safe. In this world that we live in, with this coronavirus, no one is safe until everyone is safe,” Africa Task Force for Coronavirus Member Prof Salim Karim said.
“There’s no endgame that sees one country succeeding in controlling the virus while the rest of the world is dealing with rampant spread,” he added.
In Botswana, 14 out of every 100 people have been vaccinated, 12 in every 100 in South Africa, three in every 100 in Uganda, two in every 100 in Somalia, Ethiopia, Mozambique Sudan and one in every 100 in South Sudan and DRC.
Of serious concern to the Africa CDC is that there are countries such as Burundi and Eritrea that are yet to receive a single vaccine.
“If we stand together, it is possible to beat this virus. Time is not on our side. The right thing to do is to distribute vaccines to the people and quickly,” Africa Task Force for Coronavirus Member Prof Salim Karim said.
Meanwhile, the case is slightly different in developed countries. In Canada, data shows that at least 71 per cent of the population has been inoculated, with 59 per cent fully vaccinated and 12.5 per cent receiving one shot.
The UK has vaccinated 68.9 per cent of the population, with 56 per cent fully vaccinated while Spain has vaccinated 68.1 per cent, with 57 per cent fully vaccinated.
Further, Italy has vaccinated 63.5 per cent of the population, 52 per cent fully vaccinated, while the US has vaccinated 57 per cent of her population, out of which 49.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.