Therapy Areas: Vaccines
Vaccination against COVID-19 in Africa not expected to start before mid-2021
27 November 2020 -

The head of the African continent's disease control group said on 26 November 2020 that vaccinations against COVID-19 might not start in Africa until the middle of next year, CNN reported on Friday.

The director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong, was quoted as saying at a news conference: "We are very concerned as a continent that we will not have access to vaccines in a timely fashion," adding "I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available" in the past.

Nkengasong said the goal was to vaccinate 60% of the continent's population to achieve herd immunity.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a statement on 26 November 2020 that its new analysis has found that Africa is far from ready for what will be the continent's largest ever immunisation drive and urged African countries to urgently ramp up readiness.

According to WHO data, just 24% of countries surveyed have adequate resource and funding plans, and just under half have "identified the priority populations for vaccination and have plans in place to reach them."

Also, WHO estimates the cost of rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine on the African continent to priority populations will be around USD5.7bn.

These figures do not include additional costs of up to 20% extra for injection materials and the delivery of vaccines, which require trained health workers, supply chain and logistics and community mobilisation.