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Photo: Luba Lesolle/Gallo Images via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said on Thursday that just 15 out of 54 African countries had fully vaccinated 10% of their populations against COVID-19.

Why it matters: The announcement that more than 70% have missed the World Health Assembly's target indicates that global leaders are struggling to narrow the large gap in vaccine access between poor and wealthy countries.

  • The longer it takes to reach the goal, the more likely it becomes that a new variant will undermine the efficacy of the vaccines, per the World Health Assembly.

Details: The African countries that have reached the 10% goal include Seychelles, Mauritius, Morocco, Tunisia, Comoros, Cape Verde and other countries with "relatively small" populations, according to the WHO.

  • Half of the 52 African countries have fully vaccinated "just 2% or less of their populations," the WHO said.

Of note: About 90% of high income-countries globally have reached this vaccination goal per the WHO.

The big picture: In May, the World Health Assembly announced its goal of having 10% of every country vaccinated by Sept. 30th, which would lead to 30% of the world being vaccinated.

  • The WHO wants 40% of the world's population vaccinated by year's end.

What they're saying: Dr. Richard Mihigo, the WHO coordinator for the Immunization and Vaccines Development Program of Africa, said there is "still a long way to go" to reach that target.

  • “Shipments are increasing but opaque delivery plans are still the number one nuisance that hold Africa back,” Mihigo added.

What's next: Mihigo said that COVAX, the global vaccine distribution program, is “working with donors to identify the countries that can currently absorb large volume of vaccine and send them their way.”

Go deeper: Rich countries pull a reverse Robin Hood on COVID-19 vaccines

Go deeper

14 hours ago - Health

DeSantis touts bonuses for unvaccinated police who relocate to Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference Friday in Kissimmee, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced plans Sunday to "hopefully sign" legislation to provide a $5,000 bonus to police officers who relocate to Florida in order to avoid COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The governor's pledge during an appearance on Fox News comes amid escalating tensions with the Biden administration over its upcoming vaccine requirement for federal workers.

11 hours ago - Health

A choose-your-own COVID booster adventure

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

COVID-19 boosters are now available for many adults who want one.

  • But the various combinations of who should get one and when now that mixing and matching shots got the OK just made the process much more complex.

Why it matters: The CDC has yet to issue final clinical guidance but the panel's discussions and interim clinical considerations last week show picking whatever shot they want leaves room for confusion.

21 hours ago - Axios on HBO

Rand Paul claims vindication in battle with Anthony Fauci

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Mike Allen in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that President Biden should fire Anthony Fauci "just for lack of judgment, if nothing else."

The big picture: Paul claims vindication in his dispute with Fauci, played out at heated Senate hearings, over the level of risk of U.S.-funded research in Wuhan, where COVID began.