Africa needs at least 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine within six weeks if those who have had their first shot are to get the second in time, the WHO said Thursday.
“Africa needs vaccines now,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Africa.
“Any pause in our vaccination campaigns will lead to lost lives and lost hope.”
The WHO statement underlined the importance of respecting the recommended interval of eight to 12 weeks between doses to ensure a recipient’s prolonged 81-percent protection rate.
“In addition to this urgent need, another 200 million doses of any WHO Emergency Use Listed COVID-19 vaccine are needed so that the continent can vaccinate 10% of its population by September 2021,” the statement added.
As of May 26 Africa had registered more than 4.7 million cases of coronavirus with nearly 130,000 deaths attributed to the virus.