Africa: WHO Says Africa’s Covid Vaccinations Rose By 15% in February

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Harare, Zimbabwe — The World Health Organization says Africa’s COVID-19 vaccinations rose by 15% between January and February, as several countries embarked on mass inoculation drives to expand coverage and protect populations from the pandemic.

Zimbabwe’s government says it is launching a “national vaccination blitz” targeting those who have not yet been vaccinated in a country where resistance to the shots has been an issue since the program started last year. The drive come amid government concern over rising COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said in a statement that the increase in COVID-19 vaccinations on the continent was driven mainly by campaigns in populous countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Dr. Thierno Balde, the WHO Africa regional COVID-19 incident manager, he says the continent must remain vigilant.

“We have seen what is happening around, in China, and the risk of also having new imitations, new variants still possible. We really need to continue to safeguard our population by taking the vaccine by not relaxing totally. The situation might change. So we really need to continue adapting some of these social measures and also to get vaccination,” Balde said.

The WHO said to boost African COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, it and other organizations were supporting mass vaccination drives in at least 10 priority countries to reach 100 million people by the end of next month.