ADDIS ABABA — African countries have acquired 818 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said in the latest weekly briefing held on Thursday.
The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union, said around 17.3 percent of Africa’s population have been fully vaccinated.
Some 579 million of the total 818 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, which corresponds to 70.7 percent of the total supply available in Africa, the Africa CDC said.
Countries such as Seychelles, Mauritius, Rwanda, Morocco, and Botswana have vaccinated the largest share of their population against COVID-19, respectively, according to the agency. Ten African countries have vaccinated more than 35 percent of their total population, it said.
Ahmed Ogwell, the acting director of the Africa CDC, told reporters during his weekly briefing Thursday that some 37 African countries are offering booster doses for different age groups while Tunisia and South Africa have begun offering the second booster doses for those citizens who are 50 years of age or older.
“We are encouraging our member states to offer booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines to citizens who have already received the full vaccination coverage to ensure that their immunity remains high and avoid serious illness,” Ogwell said.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has reached 11,675,825 cases as of Wednesday evening, as the death toll from the pandemic reached 253,518 while some 11,042,211 people have recovered from the disease, according to Africa CDC.