The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the threat of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the African region ‘as real and rising’ even as it validated China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, otherwise known as CoronaVac, for emergency use.
It therefore urged countries to brace up and strengthen their health systems by investing in critical care capacities, which will pay dividends for the COVID-19 response.
It further expressed concern that the gap between COVID-19 vaccinations globally and on the African continent is increasing, despite the best efforts of African countries, because of vaccine inequity.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, made these known during a press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic and treatment in Africa.
She said: “The threat of a third wave in Africa is real and rising. Vaccines are key to staving off a new surge and keeping the most vulnerable Africans out of critical care. Vaccines are a gift that we will keep on giving.
“Nearly 20 African countries have now used more than two-thirds of the doses they have received, and many of these countries are ready, willing, and able to rapidly roll out more.