As many countries across the globe began vaccination in view of curbing the menace of the COVID-19 pandemic CDC Chief says Africa seems to have been neglected.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hopes that in April major vaccine drives on the continent will begin, its head, John Nkengasong, told reporters.
Starting vaccination for Africa in April which is four months away from the time America, Europe and Asia begin its shot is another draw back for the world’s second-largest and second-most populous continent.
John Nkengasong added “That’s a long way to go given that this virus transmits very quickly,” adding that in Africa, “the second wave is here with a vengeance”.
According to CDC Africa reports, cases of the latest coronavirus have increased by almost 19 percent since last week and deaths have increased by 26 percent.
As of Monday, Africa has recorded over 2.7 million coronavirus infections and 64,000 deaths, it added.
In the past week, South Africa, where a new strain of the virus was found, reported 82,000 cases, he said.
“We cannot delay, we need those vaccines and need them now,” Nkengasong said.
The major blockers to vaccinations beginning in Africa are global availability of doses and financing, Nkengasong, Africa CDC chief says.
Wealthy nations have acquired vaccines in excess of what they need, he said.
“We don’t have to get into a moral crisis, where these things are stocked in the developed world and we in Africa are struggling to have,” Nkengasong said.
In addition to promising Africa through the COVAX initiative, the African Union is in negotiations with the European Union, Canada and pharmaceutical firms to procure vaccinations.
Collectively headed by the World Health Organisation, the Gavi Vaccination Alliance, and the Partnership for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. COVAX is a national scheme for the supply to developing countries of COVID-19 vaccines.
Approval procedures for different vaccines are expected to be fast-tracked via the framework of the Central African Union, he added.