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US News Covid-19 in Africa: "The situation of access to vaccines has become virtually untenable"

02:30  13 april  2021
02:30  13 april  2021 Source:   france24.com

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 the pope calls for sharing vaccines with the poorest countries © supplied by the point m alggle the acceleration of vaccination campaigns, millions of Christians in the world resigned itself to an easter Sunday under the sign Sanitary constraints, for the second time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Un homme reçoit une dose de vaccin AstraZeneca dans le cadre du programme Covax, le 9 mars 2021 à Khartoum (Soudan). © AFP A man receives a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the COVAX program, March 9, 2021 in Khartoum (Sudan) .

The African Union has summoned a peak of two days, Monday and Tuesday, devoted to the production of vaccines on the continent. Africans represent only 2% of the population vaccinated against CVIV-19 in the world according to WHO, which is concerned about the problems of scarcity, financing, and a lack of qualified personnel ".

"The situation of access to vaccines on the African continent has become virtually untenable," alerted France 24 Richard Mihigo, head of the immunization and vaccine development program for the World Health Organization (WHO ) in Africa. "Africa represents 16% of the world's population, but only 0.1% of vaccines are produced on the continent in routine vaccination [COVID and off Covid]," he continues.

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To try to find a solution, Richard Mihigo participates alongside many African officials at an Videoconferencing Summit of the African Union (AU), devoted to the production of vaccines in Africa , Monday, 12 and Tuesday, April 13th.

"We have 45 countries on the African continent who received the VVID-19, vaccine, of which 31 countries across the COVAX dose initiative," says the WHO representative, referring to the programmed program. by the international organization and intended to reduce the inequalities of access to immunization, particularly in poor countries.

Africa "On the margin" of vaccination

Most shipments of anti-Covid vaccine doses in Africa come from the COVAX program. Africa remains "in the margins" in the CVIV-19 vaccination campaign, with only "2% of vaccines administered around the world," said the director for WHO Africa, Matshidiso MOETI , at a press point.

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 India: Shortage of vaccines at Maharashtra, the most affected state by COVID © AFP - Punishing Paranjpe A woman is injected the astrazeneca vaccine against COVID. On April 9, 2021. India knows in recent days its worst wave of contamination since the beginning of the pandemic with more than 130,000 cases recorded in Thursday, April 8, for about 120 deaths. As a result, the authorities accelerated the vaccination campaign, administered more than 4 million people a day.

The slowness of the vaccination campaign can be explained by "lack of scarcity, financing, a lack of qualified personnel", as well as logistical problems, according to Matshidiso Meti, who also stressed the impact of the slowdown in exports of exports. Vaccines by India as part of the COVAX program.

The routing of vaccines to the populations also faces "transport problems and cold chain", and sometimes to a "waste" doses, had noted for its part Mohamed Malick Fall, director of UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) for East Africa and Southern Africa.

Recognizing "reluctance" and "worries" in Africa towards the AstraZeneca vaccine, the most distributed through the COVAX program, but which is the subject of a controversy over its unwanted side effects, Matshidiso Meti and Mohamed Malick Fall had stressed the importance of fighting "rumors and misinformation". They recalled that in the past, reluctance against the polio vaccine in some countries like Nigeria had finally been overcome.

Sanofi invests 400 million in a new vaccine plant (in Singapore)

 Sanofi invests 400 million in a new vaccine plant (in Singapore) © Supplied by the Tribune The French Pharmaceutical Giant will invest 400 million euros to build in the coming years a vaccine plant in Singapore, intended to feed the Asian market , he announced Monday. "Sanofi will invest 400 million euros over five years in the creation of a single vaccine production site in Singapore," said the group in a statement without further details on the type of vaccines. will be produced.

Developing African Industries

The COVAX initiative should cover 20% of the African population in anti-Covid vaccines. "What can Africa do to vaccinate beyond? This is the entire issue of the Summit [of the African Union] and the current situation. Africa seeks sustainable solutions to ensure the situation Vaccine on the continent, "said Richard Mihigo. "The ambition would be to create five African vaccine production centers by 2040."

In this sense, Africa wants to "draw on Brazil or India that have developed autonomous industries," says the WHO manager. But some initiatives face the goodwill of large laboratories. Thus South Africa has requested access to patents for free to produce valuable vaccines, but holders oppose it.

more, "AU explains that local factories must be built, but also ensuring that the infrastructures follow, especially for vaccines with cold conservation conditions such as CVVID-19", Temperete Axel May, Economic columnist in France 24.

with disparities in regions, however, Africa remains less affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with 4.3 million cases, including 114,000 people on a population of 1.2 billion inhabitants, According to the latest WHO-Africa count, compared with 2.9 million deaths worldwide.

COVID-19. France intends to give 500,000 doses of Astrazeneca to African countries by June .
© Yves Herman / Reuters boxes containing AstraZeneca vaccine bottles. Photo Stock Illustration. France intends to give in April to African countries about 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, as part of the COVAX system. She intends to give them 500,000 in the mid-June. Vaccines AstraZeneca for France will take the direction of Africa in the coming weeks. The authorities intend to give in April to African countries about 100,000 doses of this VVID vaccine, as part of the COVAX system.

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