The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for fairness in access to Covid-19 vaccines to widen the reach in Africa.
The WHO said on Thursday that while vaccines had been delivered through the global partnership Covax, current global supply constraints could mean a critical proportion of people remain unvaccinated for months.
“While some high-income countries are seeking to vaccinate their entire populations, many in Africa are struggling to sufficiently cover even their high-risk groups,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa.
“Acquiring Covid-19 vaccines must not be a competition. Fair access will benefit all and not just some of us,” his statement added.
The WHO said vaccine doses have not yet arrived in 10 African countries. So far, the continent has administered 7.7 million vaccine doses, it said.
It urged efforts to be made to ensure equity in vaccine distribution, including by “strengthening local production to meet demand” in the continent and “promoting technology transfer and reducing intellectual property barriers”.