The Sekenani health clinic in rural Kenya recently warned a group of patients that there were no more COVID-19 vaccines and that they would have to come shortly for a new dosage. As the idea of an exhausting day away from their cow herds loomed largely, several individuals found the notion challenging to bear.
Africa Has Yet To Get All Of The COVID Shots That Have Arrived
Despite this, Narok County’s clinic had access to about 14,000 doses of immunizations that were kept in a refrigerator only 115 kilometers away. Health doctors say that Sekenani was underfed because of a misunderstanding with the county government.
The small failure in a village 270 kilometers southwest of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, illustrates the difficulties African countries are currently experiencing in their fight against COVID-19: despite vaccine supplies finally ramping up, getting needles into arms is proving to be the most challenging part.
According to health experts, successful immunization programs in Africa are essential to ending the pandemic across the globe. Virus mutations like the new Omicron type, which has swept South Africa, have been promoted by low immunization rates on the continent, causing yet another round of international travel bans.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 7.5 percent of the continent’s population, or 102 million people, have got all of their immunizations. The disparity in immunization rates is a major concern for the organization.
Despite African governments’ pleas for enhanced vaccine distribution this year, supply limitations owing to production limits and hoarding by richer countries have severely curtailed supplies until recently.
Vaccine skepticism and a lack of funds, medical staff, and equipment previously impeded immunization programs in several African locations. The anticipated rise may exacerbate such problems, which is projected to entail millions more injections in the following weeks.
Around 40% of the vaccines that have arrived on the continent so far have not been used, according to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, a policy think-tank A four-fold increase in vaccination use is needed to keep up with the anticipated supply of vaccines in coming months, according to the institute.
African immunization rates vary enormously throughout the continent, which has more than a billion people, and some nations, particularly those in North Africa, are faring better than others. Rates of immunization in Cape Verde, a small island country off the coast of West Africa, are equivalent to those in certain European countries (almost 65 percent of adults). The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a population of around 90 million people. However, only 0.1 percent of the population lives there.
Kenya has made great strides in many areas, but economic growth is one of them. The largest economy in East Africa has received almost 5 million tablets in the past two weeks after months of shortages.
There were a record 110,000 vaccinations given out on December 1, according to Willis Akhwale, a member of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine task force. As a result, the total number of persons who have been vaccinated would reach 10 million from a population of 47 million, according to him.