Under World Health Organisation (WHO) advice, vaccines across the continent were destroyed after donated jabs had been found to be out of date. However, doctors are claiming that there are simply not enough doses being delivered to African states.
Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Dr Ayoade Alakija, co-chair of the Africa Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance, said the “situation is dire”.
“The statistics speak for themselves,” said Dr Alakija.
“Africa has received 36 million vaccines in total for its entire population of 1.2 billion people.
“That begins to give you a sense of scale when you think that the United States has vaccinated over almost 200 million people at the moment and if you want to go scale-wise: India – 1.4 billion people – with an awful, really tragic situation they’re facing, have vaccinated about 300 million people to date.”
Covid cases in Africa reached over 4.7 million on Wednesday evening, according to the latest data from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although this is likely to be less than the true figure as some nations have not released or kept official records.
According to the agency, cases seem to be concentrated in the Northern and southern regions of the continent while central Africa is the least affected region.
In line with the WHO advice, Malawi and South Sudan disposed of 79,000 doses in the African Union which had an expiry date of April 13.
When the doses were sold, countries buying the vaccines were not made aware of the expiry date.
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“But the key is how do you scale that up – and… at speed?”