The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered increased by almost 75% in Africa in June 2022 compared to the previous month, after a sustained three-month decline between March and May.
According to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, quoted in a statement, this increase is due to mass vaccination campaigns carried out in 16 countries in June. Nineteen mass vaccination campaigns are organized in July.
This increase in vaccination coverage, she said, shows that African countries remain committed to vaccination against Covid-19.
As of July 10, 2022, 282 million people on the continent had completed their primary series, i.e. 21.1% of the African population. This represents a 10% increase in vaccinations since the beginning of the year. More than 892 million vaccines have been delivered to Africa, of which 64% through the COVAX mechanism.
Vaccination coverage increased from 3.5 to 25% in Zambia
The dramatic increase in the number of doses of vaccine administered has enabled six countries to exceed the critical threshold of 10% of their total population having completed their primary series of vaccination. According to the UN World Health Agency, the number of countries in the category of less than 10% has thus fallen from 14 to 8.
Among the countries that stepped up their vaccination campaigns in June were Tanzania, where vaccination coverage for the complete primary series increased from 1.8 to 15.8%, and South Sudan, which increased from 2 to 11 %.
Several countries that have struggled to get their COVID-19 vaccine responses off the ground in 2021 have made notable progress in increasing coverage of their primary series over the past six months. Coverage increased from 3.5% to 33% in Ethiopia, from 9% to 25.8% in Côte d’Ivoire, from 3.5% to 25.2% in Zambia and from 4.4% in 25, 5% in Uganda.
More than 12 million cases of Covid in Africa, including 255,000 deaths
Vaccination against Covid-19 in Africa remains focused on adults over the age of 18. Only 7% of the doses administered in 23 countries were to children and adolescents under 18 years old. The average coverage for adults over 18 who have completed their primary series is 34%.
“On the continent, efforts are underway for the integration of Covid19 vaccination into primary health care services,” Dr Moeti said. To achieve this, primary health care facilities currently operate as one-stop shops for a range of health services.
More than 12 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been recorded on the African continent, including more than 11 million recoveries and 255,000 cumulative deaths, according to a count established on July 19 by the WHO.