As of 25th October 2021, more than 6.86 Billion vaccine doses were given globally, which was enough to carter for 44.6% of the world population. Unfortunately, this has not been the case.
Africa, despite accounting for 17% of the world population has received 256 Million, which is 3.7% of the doses available. This means that the continent has a 79% under representation in the global doses.
Out of the 54 countries in the continent, only 15 of them have passed the 10% target that was set by The World Health Organisation for every country by September, 2021. This number is lower than UK vaccination rate which is at 67%, European Union at 62% and USA at 55%.
In as much as the vaccines received by Africa generally expressing a high vaccine confidence, they only represent 7.95% of the population with a single dose and 5.2% of the population fully vaccinated, with a wide difference between and within the countries.
It is due to this that AMREF Health Africa has embarked on a movement to End Vaccine Injustice in Africa. The goal of the movement is to have as many African and other NGO as well as individuals to sign a petition which will be followed by a strongly worded letter to those holding the vaccines such as G7 and G20 and manufacturers.
According to AMERF Health Africa, there is uneven distribution of the vaccine due to the following reasons:
High income countries stock pilled advance orders by making direct financial commitments to manufacturers at lucrative opaque prices.Lack of adequate money in African countries to enable them to compete in an open market.Supply challenges experienced by COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access), an initiative which was expected to negotiate, purchase and deliver the vaccines to Africa. AMREF points that the supply challenges were as a result of stock piles by high income countries and sub optimal manufacturers.
From this petition, AMREF aims to:
End stock piling of vaccines in rich countries before African countries and other parts of the world have been vaccinated.Limit the rollout of booster shots until the supply has reached Africa because it is the most effective way to save most lives.Increase and accelerate sharing of vaccines African in countries.Share licenses, technology and know- how and waive IP for COVID-19 health technologies globally, with an aim to boost the manufacture of the vaccines by African countries.Assist Africa to be self reliant and never again find itself relying on other countries for lifesaving medical supplies.