The regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Thursday that the already struggling vaccine campaign against Govt-19 in Africa is at risk of being hit by syringe shortages. Without significant acceleration, only five African countries, or less than 10%, will reach the global target of 40% of the vaccinated population by the end of the year. These are the Seychelles, Mauritius, Morocco, which have already achieved this goal, as well as Tunisia and the Cape Verde, according to the WHO Africa office.
In addition, the continent is struggling to meet the demand for essential products for vaccination, especially syringes, which were pointed out during the weekly conference online. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 2.2 billion auto-disabled syringes will be missing by 2022, according to WHO-Africa.
The equipment specifically includes 0.3 ml auto-disable syringes used for the administration of Pfizer-Bioendech’s anti-govt vaccine, for which the market is tight and highly competitive. “The threat of a vaccine supply crisis hangs across the continent,” commented Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Director for Africa, at the WHO Regional Conference.
“Early next year, vaccines against Govt-19 will flow to Africa, but a shortage of syringes will stifle the progress of vaccination campaigns,” he added, calling for a rapid increase in their production.