Less than 10% of African countries will meet key COVID-19 vaccination goal

Less than 10% of African countries will meet key COVID-19 vaccination goal
Less than 10% of African countries will meet key COVID-19 vaccination goal

Less than 10% of African countries will meet key COVID-19 vaccination goal

World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that less than 10% of countries in Africa will meet the year-end vaccination target for 2021.

Under the target which was set in May by the World Health Assembly, countries are required to have fully vaccinated about 40% of their population by end of the year.

Seychelles, Mauritius and Morocco have already met the target with Tunisia and Cabo Verde said to be in line to meet the target also.

According to WHO, unless efforts are accelerated to vaccinate the citizens, most countries will not meet it any time soon.

‘’Just five African countries, less than 10% of Africa’s 54 nations, are projected to hit the year-end target of fully vaccinating 40% of their people unless efforts to accelerate the pace take off.

‘’This comes as the region grapples to meet the rising demand for essential vaccination commodities, such as syringes.

‘’Three African countries, Seychelles, Mauritius and Morocco, have already met the goal that was set in May by the World Health Assembly, the world’s highest health policy-setting body.

‘’At the current pace just two more countries, Tunisia and Cabo Verde will also hit the target,’’ said the WHO statement. 

Will Zimbabwe meet the 2021 vaccination target?

According to the WHO statement, countries like Zimbabwe will not meet the end of year vaccination target.

Zimbabwe started its vaccination program in February this year courtesy of 200 000 doses of Sinopharm that were donated by China.

About 2 566 412 people were fully vaccinated in Zimbabwe by 27 October, while 3 288 085 have received their first doses.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told legislators in Victoria Falls during the pre-budget seminar that the government had procured about 16.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Zimbabwe is currently administering a two-dose vaccine mainly Sinopharm and Sinovac and this means the vaccines are enough to inoculate about 8.1 million people.

The country has an estimated 16 million people, which means 8.1 million is about half the population.

Even though the country procured the vaccines, the rollout program has suffered from massive resistance from the citizens.

Most of the people are sceptical about the Chinese vaccine, while others are not happy with the lack of information on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

This resistance has seen the government employing a policy of no-vaccine-no work to its workers and has even set a deadline for the policy.

US$127m spent on vaccines so far

According to Minister Mthuli Ncube, the government has shelled about US$127 million towards procurement of the 16.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

He also indicated that by end of September, the country had received US$137.6 million and 1,085,000 vaccines from the development partners to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, economic commentators are worried by the secrecy in the procurement of the vaccines and related materials as the government is not fully disclosing information.

The Zimbabwe government has in the past been exposed to being shambolic when it comes to the procurement of goods and services.

On several occasions, they have often been overcharged or have opted to purchase from expensive suppliers.

In some cases, they opt to go through a middleman when they have the option of going straight to the supplier and thereby losing a lot of revenue in the process.

Institutions such as Transparency International Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development have consistently urged the government to be transparent.

The COVID-19 Special Audit Report by the Auditor General has revealed that COVID-19 funds have been massively abused by officials in both local and central government. Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Brian Dube told OpenParly that one cannot read the COVID-19 Special Audit Report and not cry because of the level of corruption.

Less than 10% of African countries will meet key COVID-19 vaccination goal