Posted on 28 February 2022
Almost two years after Africa identified its first case of Covid, the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that, if current trends continue, the continent can control the pandemic in 2022. However, WHO warned that continued vigilance is key.
“Over the past two years, the African continent has gotten smarter, faster and better at responding to each new surge in cases of COVID-19,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Against the odds, including huge inequities in access to vaccination, we’ve weathered the COVID-19 storm with resilience and determination, informed by Africa’s long history and experience with controlling outbreaks. But COVID-19 has cost us dearly, with more than 242 000 lives lost and tremendous damage to our economies.”
The most powerful weapon against the emergence of new variants is vaccination. To date, around 672 million doses of Covid vaccines have been received in Africa, of which 65% were facilitated by COVAX, 29% via bilateral deals and 6% though the African Union’s Vaccines Acquisition Trust. In January 2022, 96 million doses were shipped to Africa, which is more than double the amount shipped six months ago. Since January, COVAX is only shipping vaccines to countries on demand, ensuring that countries get the right volume at the right time.