Africa likely to miss September vaccination deadline: WHO

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2020, Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigational pharmacy technician Sara Berech prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for a clinical trial in Aurora, Colorado. – Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine has an overall efficacy of 66 percent, the company announced on January 29, 2021, following results from a phase 3 trial of almost 44,000 people across many countries. The figure however was as high as 72 percent in the United States but went down to 57 percent in South Africa, where a more transmissible variant is dominant. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Nearly 90 percent of African countries will miss a target of vaccinating a tenth of their population by September unless they urgently receive more than 200 million jabs, the WHO warned Thursday.

“Only seven African countries (out of 54) are likely to reach the target,” the World Health Organization’s director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said in an online briefing.

At least 225 million jabs are urgently required if the majority of the countries are to meet the deadline, she said.

Africans have received less than one percent of the over 2.1 billion doses administered globally, according to the WHO.

Just one in 50 of the continent’s nearly 1.3 billion people have received one jab, it said.

Africa has been hit by a near standstill in vaccine deliveries, partly caused by lack of supplies from India, which is battling its own flareup of Covid-19.

The WHO urged wealthier countries to share vaccines — a need that Moeti described as “do or die.”