In Africa, only 4% of people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Leaders had once hoped to have 60% of people living on the continent vaccinated this year.
That now appears unlikely.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners said they do hope to provide African countries with 30% of the vaccines the continent needs by February, the Associated Press reports.
Most of the 5.7 billion vaccine doses administered globally so far have been in just 10 wealthy countries, as the U.N.-backed COVAX initiative has missed all of its targets. COVAX is now begging rich countries to share their vaccine doses, according to the AP.
Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of vaccine alliance Gavi, tells the AP that COVAX expects to have 1.4 billion doses ready for delivery by the end of 2021, about one-quarter fewer than its original goal.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday that the disparity between rich and poor countries in terms of COVID-19 vaccine distribution is a “solvable problem.”
Twelve African countries so far have hit the target of 10% fully vaccinated, but the larger countries with poorer populations are lagging behind, according to WHO data.
The slow rate of vaccination is partly due to issues around distributing the vaccines, such as the lack of