Vaccinate … five to six times faster
It is a race of speed which is engaged on the continent. Faced with the virulence of a third wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, carried by the tidal wave of the Delta variant, we must “Urgently accelerate the pace of vaccination”, warned Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, director of the African office of the World Health Organization (WHO), Thursday, July 22, during her weekly press briefing. The Delta variant, the most contagious of all, has now been detected in 26 out of 55 countries.
Although Africa has recorded a slight decline in contamination of 1.7% in recent days, “We must not be lulled into illusions”, insists Mme Moeti. Because Africa has since suffered “Eight weeks a very strong resurgence of the pandemic”, which continues to translate into a 12% rise in deaths this week, after a dramatic 43% surge the week before.
The arrival of several deliveries of vaccines by the Covax international solidarity mechanism, orders made by the African Union (AU) and donations “Should allow different countries to vaccinate their populations five to six times faster”, explains the director of the Africa office, the only way to“Achieve the objective of 10% vaccination coverage by September”.
Currently, only 1.39% of the 1.3 billion Africans are fully immunized. In such a context, the Muslim holiday of Eid, celebrated by almost half of the continent, as well as the riots in South Africa, which alone weighs more than a third of continental contaminations, could result in an increased circulation of virus. Africa has nearly 6.4 million people infected and 161,638 dead, which represents 3.3% and 3.9% of global figures respectively.