WHO urges delivery of vaccines pledged to Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the global commitment to provide Covid vaccines to Africa needs to translate to “real delivery” of the vaccines to the continent.

“We have seen the pledges they have done in the past… it’s all good but what we really need in the vaccines in the arms of the people on the ground,” Dr Richard Mihigo, the WHO Africa regional director told the BBC Newsday programme.

It came as the UN described the situation as a “moral indictment”, with over 90% of Africans still unvaccinated.

“It is an obscenity. We passed the science test. But we are getting an F in ethics,” Secretary General António Guterres said on Monday in his address to the UN General Assembly.

Dr Mihigo said Africa had done well to distribute the few vaccines it had so far received, despite some of them arriving with a short time to their expiry date.

The WHO official says the global Covax vaccine scheme, which is intended to help poorer countries, had done well despite being unable to access enough vaccine supplies.

The Covax scheme has supplied about 37% of the 177 million vaccine doses supplied to Africa, with the rest acquired through bilateral deals and donations from a variety of sources.

Dr Mihigo urged countries to support the scheme by channelling their donations through Covax.

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