WHO: Africa may not hit 70% vaccination target until late 2024
Africa may not hit the target of vaccinating 70% of the continent's population against COVID-19 until August 2024, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday.
Driving the news: The continent saw an 83% surge in new COVID-19 cases over the past week as full vaccination among residents remains low, underscoring the vast global disparity of COVID-19 vaccine access, WHO said.
- Less than 8% of Africa's population has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to some richer countries that have started rolling out booster shots for residents, AP reports.
- As of Dec. 13, just 20 African countries had vaccinated at least 10% of their population, according to the WHO.
What they're saying: "In a world where Africa had the doses and support to vaccinate 70% of its population by the end of 2021 — a level many wealthy countries have achieved — we probably would be seeing tens of thousands of fewer deaths from COVID-19 next year," WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said in a statement.
- "But we can still save many lives if we can accelerate the pace of vaccination in early 2022," Moeti added.
Go deeper: Omicron threatens to deepen global vaccine disparities