Nearly 70% of African countries will not reach the 10% vaccination target by the end of September if trends do not change, the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom warned on Friday.
The continent continues to lag behind the rest of the world in vaccination numbers, even as leaders sound the alarm over vaccine discrimination.
“Around 3.5 million to 4 million doses are administered weekly on the continent, but to meet the September target this must rise to 21 million doses at the very least each week,” said Tedros, noting that most African countries were prepared to administer the vaccines, but they had not received them.
Less than 2% of all doses administered globally have been in Africa. Just 1.5% of the continent’s population are fully vaccinated months since the first jab was given on the continent.
“This is a very serious problem if we’re going to take action against this pandemic and end it,” said the WHO chief.
Other parts of the world have recorded much higher vaccination numbers. Europe has administered 105 doses per 100 people, and at least one to just over 70 percent of adults, while the United States is at about 103 per 100 people and 69 percent of adults.
According to WHO, just over half of countries have fully vaccinated 10% of their population, less than a quarter of countries have vaccinated 40%, and only 3 countries have vaccinated 70%.
Other countries, including Israel, are embarking on giving third doses of the vaccine to their populations.
Tedros had been vocal about vaccine sharing, noting that having two different fights against the virus would only serve to prolong the war against COVID-19.