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Covid-19: at the current rate, Africa will not reach 70% of vaccinated until 2024

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Faced with Covid-19, the bar of 70% of vaccinated within a population is considered to be the one that must be crossed to control the pandemic. However, according to projections revealed this Tuesday, December 14 by the World Health Organization (WHO), Africa could not reach this threshold until 2024 if the pace of vaccination does not accelerate.

Figures from the agency’s regional office show that as of December 13, 20 African countries had administered the vaccine to at least 10% of their population, 6 had 40% vaccinated and only two had reached the 70% threshold. In a press release, WHO-Africa specifies that at this rate, “we will have to wait until May 2022 to have […] 40% vaccination coverage ”on the continent and“ August 2024 to reach 70% ”.

An alarming finding when Africa is currently experiencing a fourth wave of contaminations. The new Omicron variant, detected for the first time on November 24 in South Africa, has caused a rebound in the epidemic. Over the past week, there has been an 83% increase in new cases of Covid-19.

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The director of WHO-Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, specifies that “the number of new cases doubles every five days, the fastest rate recorded since the beginning of the year”. The number of deaths due to Covid-19, on the other hand, is lower than in previous epidemic outbreaks. It even “decreased by 19% compared to the previous week”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on television on Sunday evening.

Citing “cautious optimism”, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti believes that “the number of deaths and serious cases will remain low during this wave”. Nevertheless, “the slowness of vaccination in Africa means that it will be much higher than it should”. It therefore calls for an acceleration of vaccination campaigns “early 2022”, in order to “save many lives”.

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