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Your Covid-19 questions answered

How is the vaccine rollout progressing in lower-income countries?

27 July 2022 - 07:00
In SA more than 37-million doses of the vaccine have been administered. File photo.
In SA more than 37-million doses of the vaccine have been administered. File photo.
Image: 123RF/ssilver

Only 28% of older populations and 37% of healthcare workers in low-income countries have received their initial doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

This is according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which recently released a global report on vaccination efforts around the world.

In SA more than 37-million doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 73.5% of males and 69.6% of females over 60 vaccinated, and 67.1% of males and 66% of females between 50 and 60.

The WHO updated its strategy to focus on the unprotected, saying the vaccination rollout was the biggest and fastest in history, but many have been left behind.

“Only 28% of older people and 37% of healthcare workers in low-income countries have received their primary course of vaccines and most have not received booster doses.

“The strategy aims to use primary and booster doses to reduce deaths and severe disease to protect health systems, societies and economies.

“On the way to reaching the 70% vaccination target, countries should prioritise achieving the underpinning targets of vaccinating 100% of healthcare workers and 100% of the most vulnerable groups, including older populations (over 60s) and those who are immunocompromised or have underlying conditions.”

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said even where 70% vaccination coverage is achieved, if significant numbers of health workers, older people and other at-risk groups remain unvaccinated, deaths will continue, health systems will remain under pressure and global recovery will be at risk

“Vaccinating all those most at risk is the single best way to save lives, protect health systems and keep societies and economies open.” 

The organisation said while vaccines have saved countless lives, they have not substantially reduced the spread of Covid-19.

“Innovation is needed to develop new vaccines that substantially reduce transmission, are easier to administer and give broader and longer-lasting protection.”

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