Africa is watching anxiously India is battling coronavirus, fearing a temporary shortage of vaccines made by India that should help protect its people.
Commonly referred to as the “pharmacy of the world”, India is one of AstraZeneca’s largest vaccine suppliers under the COVAX vaccine program in developing countries.
But India has been plagued by a sudden rise in disease – rapid, say scientists, and some new species.
The country has recorded 22 million cases out of 1.3 billion people, and nearly a quarter of a million people have died.
After exporting more than 60 million species overseas, India has announced at the end of March that it is delaying donations to other countries as it works to meet its needs.
African Union (AU) health ministers held an active online discussion on Saturday to discuss the vaccine.
“Vaccination is now very difficult because of what is happening in India,” said Cameroonian virologist John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AU’s health director.
“We hope that there will be an ongoing vaccine through COVAX from India, but we are seeing a sudden and unbelievable situation in India and we do not expect the vaccine to be shipped from India any time soon. ”
Of all continents, Africa has survived the worst epidemic so far, with more than 124,000 people legally registered in 4.6 million cases.
On the other hand, Africa is full of cities, habitats and reservoirs, and fragile health facilities – dangers that are also seen in India.
The continent has yielded 19.6 million estimates, or only 2% worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of its drugs are administered in rich countries.
Lacking access to most of their vaccines, African countries currently need to go to the market or the COVAX scheme.
The AU African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) hopes to get vaccinated through its program in late July or early August, and Nkengasong said that, although he hoped the date could come, he could not guarantee it.
Nkengasong said he did not expect the vaccine market to reopen until the third quarter, and urged African leaders to change their ways.
The devastating drug problem in India has already been identified in a number of African countries, particularly Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.
Nkengasong insisted on three options: in addition to testing; to prevent prevention through intelligence programs; as well as promoting vaccination and ventilation.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on African countries to remain vigilant until the vaccine crisis is resolved.
“What is happening right now in some parts of the world could happen in Africa if we stop being vigilant,” he told the AU summit.
“In many countries, the availability of a wide range of rapidly spreading species, including the rapid deterioration of public health and development strategies and the unequal distribution of vaccines have serious consequences.”
The AU cabinet meeting called for greater respect for anti-vaccination guidelines in a vaccinated African country.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo announced in late April that it had “re-sent” a vaccine of 1.3 million “residues” to neighboring countries.
The Ministry of Health acknowledged that some sections of the public simply refused to be whipped.
In some developed countries, the problem of low-dose vaccines is beginning to take off.
“The improper distribution of vaccines does not only aggravate the problem. “I am also hurting myself financially and suffering from this disease,” said Tedros.