Covid is not over

At present only 7% of the African population is fully vaccinated, compared Europe at 56% and the United States at 60%.

07 January 2022 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES

Africa is nowhere near seeing the beginning of the end of Covid-19 that has ravaged the continent’s public health systems in the last two years.

Dr Ayoade Alakija of the African Union's African Vaccine Delivery Alliance told CNN in an in interview this week that vaccine inequality remains a challenge and is holding Africa back.

“It is not over, because we have not vaccinated the world. It is not over because a life in Washington DC at the moment is worth far more than a life in Abuja or a life in Sao Paula than a life in Brussels. Who will stand up at this critical moment in history? Public health plus global solidarity is the only way out,” she said.

At present only 7% of the African population is fully vaccinated, compared Europe at 56% and the United States at 60%.

“I do not share the optimism of the world that Omicron is mild. I think people are sick and tired of Covid and they want it to be over but Covid is clearly not sick and tired of us.

“Technically, in some parts we are talking of 7% vaccination but in reality, the definition of fully vaccinated has shifted from two doses to three doses.

“So, Africa has actually rolled back the gains and now we are less than 1% fully vaccinated, because very few people across Africa have had three doses,” said Alakija.

Hospitalisation

Namibia has seen a remarkable increase in Covid-19-related hospital admissions in the past two weeks.

There has also been an increase in Covid deaths, mostly home deaths, with the highest daily toll of 18 deaths since the devastating third wave during the winter of 2021.

Most recent Covid-19 cases and deaths have been among unvaccinated people, while the total vaccinated population in Namibia stands at a mere 344 627.

According to the daily Covid-19 statistics for Wednesday, 5 January, 344 Covid-19 patients are in hospitals across the country, 26 of them in intensive care units.

Four of the hospitalised patients had received one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, while 34 are fully vaccinated. Two people in ICU are fully vaccinated, while the remaining 24 are unvaccinated.

By Wednesday, only 0.6% of the target population of 307 298 children aged 12-17 years, which translates to 1 989 children, had been vaccinated. Of this total, only 89 are fully vaccinated. A total of 6 225 adults had received a booster dose of vaccine.

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