AFRICA – According to the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Africa CDC, the African continent is on track to reach the vaccination target of at least 70% of its population by the end of 2022.

According to current data, 11% of the continent’s 1.3 billion people are fully vaccinated.

A surge in vaccinations in countries such as Nigeria, where vaccine hesitancy appears to be waning, encouraged the public health official.

Director John Nkengasong added that the continent’s vaccination target is attainable if current trends continue and vaccination rates are increased across the board.

According to The Associated Press, the head of Africa’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that there has been a surge in vaccinations in countries such as Nigeria, as vaccine hesitancy has decreased and vaccine availability has increased (AP).

If those trends we have seen across several countries are maintained, then we remain hopeful that we should be going to that target,” said John Nkengasong, Africa CDC director.

According to the Africa CDC vaccine dashboard, approximately 16% of Africa’s population has been partially vaccinated, while approximately 11% has been fully vaccinated.

Morocco currently has the highest vaccination rate on the continent, at approximately 62 percent, while other areas, such as South Africa, have rates of approximately 28%. In places like Nigeria, only about 2% of the population has been immunized.

According to the Associated Press, Nkengasong stated that “every time there is noise about a vaccine, like expiration or things like AstraZeneca vaccines not arriving on time, it creates some sort of hesitation.”

During a briefing just a week ago, Nkengasong stated that at least 2.8 billion doses of donated COVID-19 vaccines had expired, citing the shots’ short shelf life. However, the supply accounted for only about 0.5 percent of all vaccines donated to Africa.

Despite this news, Nkengasong remains confident that Africans are ready to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, citing studies conducted by the Africa CDC that “point to the fact that on average, about 80% of the population of countries studied are ready to receive the vaccines.”

According to the director, studies conducted in several countries indicate that approximately 80 percent of the population in these countries is ready to be vaccinated.

So far, 580 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been received in Africa, with 64 percent of these being administered.

Earlier this week, the Africa CDC announced a collaboration with Parsyl, a smart vaccine monitoring service that will enable front-line workers to monitor the unique temperature requirements of a variety of health products, including vaccines.

The collaboration will provide Africa CDC with end-to-end monitoring of vaccine quality and waste across the continent.

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