Africa is plagued by a “unconscionable” shortage as the United States vaccinates children against COVID

Johannesburg, South Africa — Biden Administrative plan Purchasing 500 million COVID-19 vaccines and donating them to low-income countries around the world is part of a global push to ensure equal access to the vaccine for everyone.Experts have Warning for months If more of the world’s population is not protected from the virus, it will continue to mutate and threaten everyone with new strains that may resist the available vaccines.

However, while the United States administers 92 doses for every 100 people, it is far behind elsewhere in the world. Even 1% of Africa’s total population has not been fully vaccinated, and some countries have not yet been vaccinated at all.

CBS News correspondent Debora Patta reports that South Africa, one of the wealthiest countries on the continent, was given doses of only 2.4 doses per 100 inhabitants.

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Elderly people in South Africa are lined up in Soweto and elsewhere for final vaccination, but far from the United States, which has already vaccinated children. And across the borders of the small kingdom of Eswatini, some healthcare professionals haven’t even taken the first shot.

Nurse Menjin Como gets up every morning when the ondori crows. He is trying to stay strong after fighting a pandemic with a mask alone for over a year. He is not ready for the third wave because the vaccine is not yet available in Ezwatini.

The nurse, Menji Nkomo, is found outside the Kwen Clinic where he works and lives in the small African kingdom of Eswatini to avoid infecting his family with COVID-19.

CBS / Debora Patta

“Our country can’t afford even a simple treatment for COVID patients,” he told CBS News.

Concerned about infecting his family, Ncomo lives in the Kwen Clinic where he works. This is the community’s first line of defense against viruses. He says the fact that the United States has already vaccinated children is the cause of hope, but that hope is not for him or his country.

“You know there is something that can help you and save more lives, but you can’t access it-it’s so painful. That’s what we do differently. He seems to live in the world, “he told Patta.

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With a population of just over one million, Eswatini has already run out of a small vaccine supply. Over 30,000 healthcare professionals took the first shot, but Nkomo wasn’t among them. Currently, in Eswatini and other African countries, some healthcare workers who receive the first injection are at risk of missing the second vaccination deadline because they do not have the vaccine where they need it.

According to South African government pandemic adviser Dr. Salim Abdul Karim, if wealthy countries can vaccinate their children, they should share more and more excess doses where they are urgently needed. ..

“For me, in many other countries, especially in Africa, it’s rude for one country to vaccinate low-risk people, even though they haven’t even vaccinated health care workers,” he told CBS News. Told. “It’s an unacceptable, ethically and immorally unacceptable situation.”

All African countries with a total population of more than 1.3 billion have received less than 50 million coronavirus vaccines. This is compared to over 2 billion managed worldwide.

But inadequate production is not a problem, said John Nkengasong, head of the CDC in Africa. He told CBS News that sufficient vaccine doses are currently available to address the global shortage.

“We’re not really begging for a vaccine,” Nukengason told Patta. “I’m just saying that I’ll arrange for the vaccine to be delayed a bit. In some countries, there’s no reason to get four or five times as much vaccine in the freezer.”

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Africa relied on India to provide vaccines through the global COVAX initiative, but its pipeline was shut down as India climbed to tackle it. Unique miserable COVID crisis And it stopped exporting the doses unleashed by its huge pharmaceutical industry.

“We found that the vaccination program was in an unpredictable, very, very unacceptable position,” explained Nukengason. “This COVID vaccination program needs to be fast and large to get a chance to win the fight against COVID-19. This is not another vaccination program like measles or polio. Then you’ll get there. “

A common enemy in the world that Nukengason emphasized is the virus.

Nurse Ncomo knows it well and knows that his only real weapon in battle is the vaccine.

Although many people in Africa are afraid that costs will be measured in their lives unless supply increases rapidly, so Wednesday’s announcement from President Biden on US vaccine donations is welcome news. , That alone is not enough to protect Africa, or from the world, the coronavirus.

Nukengathon, along with health officials across Africa and in other developing regions of the world, is watching Biden meet with fellow leaders from the wealthy countries of the UK’s Group of Seven this week. .. It’s like the United States is making it.

Africa is plagued by a “unconscionable” shortage as the United States vaccinates children against COVID

Source link Africa is plagued by a “unconscionable” shortage as the United States vaccinates children against COVID

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