Coronavirus Updates

September 5, 2020

COVID-19: WHO says 220m vaccine doses to be tested in Africa

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that 220 million COVID-19 vaccine doses will be tested on the African population.

The distribution will be based on nation inhabitant numbers and front-line health workers and the most vulnerable being given first-batch priority, as confirmed by WHO Africa programme manager Richard Mihigo.

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Dr Richard Mihigo, WHO Africa immunisation and vaccines coordinator, outlined the process, “This will not necessarily cover all the needs of the continent but at least will cover 20 per cent of the African population, initially prioritising those that are on the frontline, healthcare workers, then expanding to cover vulnerable groups such as the elderly or those with a pre-existing condition.”

COVAX is the global vaccine initiative that consists of nine vaccine candidates being tested around the world two of which are already being tested in Africa, according to the head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Richard Hatchett.

The initiative seeks to contribute to the purchase and equitable distribution of 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021.

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