Africa CDC head: COVID still a threat given low vaccination rates

PUBLISHED: Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:53:22 GMT
Alexander Winning and Anait Miridzhanian
A man receives a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Wuse market in Abuja, Nigeria January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The COVID-19 pandemic is still a threat on the African continent given low vaccination rates, the acting director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Thursday.

“The virus is still circulating, and with the low rates of vaccination the pandemic is still very much with us here on the continent,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma told a news conference.

He was responding to a question about whether he agreed with comments by the head of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the end of the COVID pandemic was now in sight. Read full story

The Africa CDC director said just over 22% of Africa’s population was fully vaccinated against COVID and that his agency would continue pushing to raise that number. “The levels of protection are still relatively low,” he told reporters.

African countries struggled to secure early supplies of COVID vaccines as rich nations hoarded doses, and more recently hesitancy and logistics problems have made it difficult to get shots into arms. Read full story

Ouma said the Africa CDC was focusing on getting as many people on the continent as possible fully vaccinated, not on procuring new vaccines targeting specific variants like Omicron.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Anait Miridzhanian; Editing by James Macharia Chege)

Sign Up for Our Newsletter Daily Update
Get the best of CNBC Africa sent straight to your inbox with breaking business news, insights and updates from experts across the continent.
Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about about our products and services. By signing up for newsletters, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.