Only 50% of health workers in Africa fully vaccinated against COVID-19, says WHO

Only 50% of health workers in Africa fully vaccinated against COVID-19, says WHO

Amarachi Okeh<

Data from the World Health Organisation has revealed that nearly 50 per cent of health workers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Africa.

The data also indicated that only about 50 per cent of people over the age of 60 have been fully vaccinated against the viral disease in Africa.

The WHO data equally revealed that Mauritius and Seychelles are the only two African countries that have fully vaccinated 70 per cent of their total population against COVID-19.

It, however, indicated that Rwanda is expected to achieve this target by the end of the month based on the pace of its current vaccine uptake.

Speaking at a press briefing during which the latest data was released, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said in spite of the poor access to doses, costly delays, and shortfalls, Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination progress so far is no mean feat.

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She said, “Africa’s youthful population has helped the continent weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While protecting young people at high risk of COVID-19 is paramount, focusing efforts on vaccinating older people, health workers and other vulnerable populations will ensure we stay a step ahead of the virus.”

The global health agency urged countries with low vaccination coverage to focus on high-priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, noting that these priority groups include: health workers, older adults and people with comorbidities.

The WHO said, “To date, at least 31 countries have planned mass vaccination campaigns until the end of the year. 

“During mass vaccination campaigns, WHO recommends that countries set up bespoke mobile teams for targeted vaccination of high-priority groups.

“Learning from the experience of HIV testing and treatment, provider-initiated COVID-19 vaccination should be offered in primary health care and in special units offering care to people with comorbidities such as HIV, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.”

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