WHO reveals urgently needed second doses of COVID-19 vaccine for Africa
It has been disclosed by the World Health Organization (WHO) that Africa needs at least 20 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the next six weeks to get second doses to all who received the first dose.
Experts have indicated that a single dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine gives around 70% protection for at least 12 weeks.
The protection from one dose after 12 weeks is limited but COVID-19 antibodies have been found in the body up to 6 months after one dose.
However, the full course provided with a 12-week interval gives 81% protection for an extended period.
The global health body said another 200 million doses of any WHO Emergency Use Listed COVID-19 vaccine are needed to guarantee Africa can vaccinate 10 percent of its population by September 2021.
WHO also confirmed that 28 million COVID-19 doses of different vaccines have been administered in Africa, which represents less than two doses administered per 100 people in Africa.
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director for Africa noted that as supplies dry up, dose-sharing becomes a critical and short-term solution to ensure that Africans get the much-needed protection.
Moeti warned that any pause in vaccination campaigns will lead to the loss of lives.
“We know that cases are rising and the clock is ticking so we urgently appeal to countries that have vaccinated their high-risk groups to speed up the dose-sharing to fully protect the most vulnerable people”, he said.
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