By Kaya 959 News
President Cyril Ramaphosa has visited two Gauteng-based vaccination sites to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine rollout programme.
The number of vaccinated people now exceeds 7 million with around a million people being vaccinated every week.
More than 1 500 volunteers, comprising of doctors, nurses and health workers, have been brought on board to help with vaccinations on weekends on various sites across all nine provinces.
Meanwhile, after a near-halt on COVID vaccines, shipments to Africa are being ramped up from multiple sources in recent months.
The World Health Organization said COVAX aims to ship 520 million doses to Africa by the end of 2021.
“COVID-19 vaccine deliveries from the African Union’s Africa Vaccine Acquisition Trust are picking up, with a projected rise to 10 million each month from September. Around 45 million doses are expected from AVAT by the year’s end,” WHO said.
Light at the end of the tunnel
To date, nearly 79 million vaccines have been shipped to Africa and 21m people have been fully vaccinated.
WHO said high-income countries have received 61 times more doses per person than poorer countries.
To fully vaccinate 30% of Africa’s population by the end of 2021, the continent needs up to 820 million doses, considering a two-dose schedule.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“I urge all countries with surplus doses to urgently share more in the spirit of life-saving solidarity and enlightened self-interest, because no country is safe until all countries are safe. I urge African countries to gear up and get ready, as our drought is finally ending,” she said.
The United States is set to ship nearly 10 million vaccines to SA and Nigeria in the coming days.
Meanwhile, it was recently reported that Biovac has been appointed to manufacture the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for distribution within the African Union, making it the first company in Africa to produce an mRNA-based vaccine.