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World Health Day 2021 Brings COVID-19 Vaccines to Africa

April 6, 2021 • 9:45 am CDT
(Coronavirus Today)

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, issued a statement on World Health Day 2021, calling on everyone to build a fairer, healthier world.

'The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on inequalities in African countries that account for around 17% of the global population.

Amid shortages of essential supplies, African countries have been pushed to the back of the queue in accessing COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment, and vaccines.

Of 548 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered worldwide, only 11 million, or 2%, have been in Africa.

At WHO, we are working with countries to strengthen capacities to collect, manage, and use data and enhance monitoring and action to address avoidable inequities. We have disseminated technical guidance on gender, equity, and COVID-19 and trained 30 country teams in the past year. These teams are using skills gained to support equitable health response, including to deal with gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19.'

COVAX, part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, is facilitating equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines to address these issues.

COVAX has built a diverse portfolio of vaccines suitable for a range of settings and populations and is on track to meet its goal of delivering at least 2 billion doses of vaccine to participating countries around the globe in 2021, including at least 1.3 billion donor-funded doses to the 92 lower-income COVAX Facility participants.