Fri 16 September 2022:
Low vaccination rates in Africa make the COVID-19 pandemic still a threat, according to the acting director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
“The virus is still circulating and with the low rates of vaccination, the pandemic is still very much with us here on the continent,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma told a news conference on Thursday.
He was responding to a query about whether he agreed with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), when he claimed that the COVID pandemic’s end was finally in sight.
“We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic,” the WHO chief told reporters at a virtual news conference on Wednesday. “We are not there yet, but the end is in sight.”
The Africa CDC director said just more than 22 percent of Africa’s population was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and that his agency would continue pushing to raise that number. “The levels of protection are still relatively low,” he told reporters.
Early COVID vaccine supplies were difficult for African countries to obtain because wealthy countries hoarded doses. More recently, logistical challenges have made it challenging to administer shots into arms.
Ouma stated that the Africa CDC was not focused on acquiring new vaccines targeting particular variants like Omicron, but rather on immunizing as many people as possible across the continent.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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