Nairobi, November 25 (EFE). – Only 27% of Africa’s health workers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving a large portion of that workforce working on the front line against the pandemic unprotected, as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Thursday.
The World Health Organization based these figures on its analyzes of data from 25 countries that revealed that as of March 2021, 1.3 million health workers were fully vaccinated.
Only six countries reach more than 90% of health workers with a complete vaccination schedule, while nine countries have vaccinated less than 40% of these workers.
On the other hand, the United Nations agency confirmed, that a recent global study of the World Health Organization that included 22 countries, most of which are high-income, found that more than 80% of their health workers have been fully vaccinated.
“Most health workers in Africa are still missing their vaccines and are still at serious risk of serious infection by COVID-19,” WHO Director for the Continent, Machidiso Moeti, said in a virtual press conference.
“Unless our doctors, nurses and other frontline workers are fully protected, we risk a setback in efforts to curb this disease. We must make sure that our health facilities are safe working environments,” Moeti warned.
According to data reported by African countries to the World Health Organization, since March 2020, there have been more than 150,400 cases of COVID-19 in health care workers, which is 2.5% of all confirmed cases.
Five countries account for nearly 70% of all reported infections among health care workers: Algeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
“With a further increase in the number of cases looming in Africa after the year-end festive season, countries must urgently speed up the release of vaccines for health workers,” Moeti concluded.
So far, about 403 million vaccines have been purchased by Africa, of which about 222 million have been administered, according to the latest figures from the African Union Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
Only 6.6% of the continent’s population (about 1,300 million people) has received the full vaccination schedule, according to the CDC’s director for Africa, John Nkengasong, who reported today at another remote news conference.
Currently, about 8.6 million cases of coronavirus have been recorded on the continent, of which more than 222,000 have died, according to the latest figures from the Africa Center for Disease Control. EFE
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