The continent has limited capacity to manufacture affordable essential vaccine as only 1% is produced locally in the midst of the highest incidence of mortality caused by infectious disease aggravated by COVID-19.
Of its 60% of population in unmet need in terms of vaccine supply, Africa experience today a short of vaccines due to low capacity of production as reported by Esther Nakkazi Freelance Science and Technology reporter in International Women Media Foundation (IWMF) Global Health Reporting for Africa that went virtual.
In her presentation on Wednesday September 23rd, 2021 Nakkazi reported that Africa represents an average of 25% of global demand in vaccine administration and population immunization.
She added that around 1.3 billion doses of vaccines are used annually. The big portion that Africa uses is imported that is 99% while an average of 12million doses are home-manufactured.
However, she added even the little produced face many impediments to its shipment including nationalism along with funders’ obligations.
“Africa falls under third-part obligations as vaccine supply is merely conditioned by the timetable of the funders rather by the actual needs”, said Esther Nakkazi.
According to World Health Organization dashboard 47 African countries have been affected by the pandemic.
Of today around 6,000,000 peoples have been infected while around 150,000 have died since the beginning of 2020.
With its 1.3 billion population to date, the continent is expected to produce its own vaccine at least 60% by 2040 compared to 1% currently produced.
During the African Union and Africa Centres for Diseases Control Summit held in April 2021, a convenient goal was set as by 2040 African countries should be able to produce 60% of the local vaccines.
In addition, dashboards presented by Nakazzi show that today (2021) the 1% of vaccine and the 99% imported will be turned over up to an average of 40% jabs imported compared to 20-60% African-made by 2040.
As of 2021, Africa does not inhold any pandemic vaccine manufacturing capacity as reported by Patrick Tippo Executive Director Africa Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative.
Esther added that some blockages to this capacity burst forth from the fact that African countries do not fund vaccine initiatives as well as its market throughput.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said that the concern to African countries is do they have to absorb the vaccine? For him the Answer is yes. However the continuous challenge is that global supplies are not being shared in ways that will get the world out of this pandemic, he concluded.
However, Africa has _as of today_ only 6 active manufacturers located in Algeria, Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, and South Africa sharing the percentage produced locally.
“A fully-fledged vaccine manufacturer is complex mechanism and require multiple consideration”, said Patrick which African countries would fall into abide including products to provide, adequate technology and equipment, workforce and markets.
He stressed out that COVID-19 sterilize immunity is important to reduce the risk of death. It allows also combat the progress to severe illness.
In Africa, many countries have been administered the first and second jab in effort to eradicate the virus. Two countries are yet to accept the vaccination campaigns in their respective countries including Burundi and Eritrea.