As multiple vaccines have been approved of through clinical development stages, many across the world are rushing to be one of the few first to receive the vaccine for COVID-19. One of the challenges that we are facing globally is the need to produce a large scale of vaccines that will be affordable enough to be distributed to those in need.
The world’s need for COVID-19 vaccines has outdone any vaccine in history. There are 289 experimental COVID-19 vaccines in development as of the 3rd of February 2021. Richer countries have had the advantage of accessing more doses of the COVID-19 vaccines than the poorer countries.
A scheme led by the World Health Organization (WHO) called Covax aims ensure that the poor countries get access to the vaccines and that the they are shared fairly among all countries. Ghana become the first to receive the vaccine that was developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. The priority of Covax was for the lower income nations such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Somalia, Afghanistan and DRC to receive the first.
By the 4th of February the African Union had secured 1.27 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccines that was distributed to 15 countries. Some countries like South Africa set out vaccination roll-out plans that begin with the frontline health-care workers. Among other challenges that the continent is facing, people do not have that much hope and confidence in the vaccine. Refusal to take the vaccine was led by safety concerns or the still common belief amongst Africans that the virus does not exist
In Africa many frequently ask the question – “Will it be enough?”
There is a need for stronger communication on the vaccines, people need to be educated so they have knowledge on how they work, to know what they are and the successfulness of the vaccines.
In order to end the pandemic the WHO has suggested that the level of immunity within the global population should at least be 70%. For those who are first in line like the elderly, the health workers and at-risk people there is however available doses of the vaccine to give the needed protection. All the is to say is that more can still be done.
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