Distributive policy

Covid still a threat given low vaccination rates

The Covid-19 pandemic remains a threat on the African continent given low vaccination rates, the acting director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Thursday.

Source: Reuters.

“The virus is still circulating, and with the low vaccination rates, the pandemic is still very present here on the continent,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma told a press conference.

He was responding to a question about whether he agreed with comments by World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the end of the Covid pandemic was now in sight.

The Africa CDC director said just over 22% of Africa’s population was fully vaccinated against Covid and his agency would continue to push to increase that number.

“Protection levels are still relatively low,” he told reporters.

African countries have struggled to quickly stock up on Covid vaccines as wealthy countries piled on doses, and more recently hesitation and logistical issues have made it difficult to get shots in the gun.

Ouma said the Africa CDC is focused on fully vaccinating as many people on the continent as possible, not buying new vaccines targeting specific variants like Omicron.