Vaccine Hesitancy is Undermining the Fight against COVID-19 in Africa, and this is how to Overcome it

Vaccine hesitancy is widespread in Africa and the continent is on course to miss the urgent global goal of vaccinating the most vulnerable 10% in every country by the end of September 2021. As of June 2021, Africa had only administered roughly 56 percent of its COVID-19 vaccine supply. Only 1.86 percent and 0.51 percent of the African population have received the first and second doses of the vaccine, respectively.

Malawi, South Sudan, Liberia, Mauritania, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Comoros, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have altogether disposed of 450000 expired doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since the vaccine rollout began in March 2021. Few other countries have returned some of their vaccines because they will be unable to use them before they expire.

Even before COVID-19, vaccine mistrust was a typical occurrence in Africa. The Polio vaccine was also greatly distrusted, but the vaccine distrust in Africa is not wholly misplaced. Africa has served as a testbed for medical research in the past. In Kano State, Nigeria, Pfizer conducted an unapproved and unethical meningitis vaccine trial which led to the death of children. In the early 2000s, HIV vaccine trials in South Africa were halted due to concerns about the trials. Nonetheless, according to WHO studies, the advantages of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risks….

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