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Africa must not face travel restrictions over Covid vaccines—WHO

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Sunday, June 27, 2021

File: A man receives Covid-19 vaccine in Wau, South Sudan/Photo/Charles J Andrea.

The World Health Organization says Africans must not face more restrictions because they are unable to access Covid-19 vaccines.

Globally, 16 countries are waving quarantine for those with a vaccination certificate.

WHO’s regional director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, underlines that making proof of COVID-19 vaccination a pre-requisite for travel may deepen inequities globally.

“While it is important to secure borders and keep Covid-19 from spreading, this must be done equitably. African people must face more restrictions because they are unable to access vaccines,” Dr. Moeti said in a virtual Covid-19 briefing on Friday.

“As WHO, our position remains that making proof of vaccination a prerequisite for travel may deepen inequities particularly while the vaccines continue to be in such short supply.”

Africa is facing a fast-surging third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the WHO.

It warns cases are spreading more rapidly, projecting to soon overtake the peak of the second wave the continent witnessed at the start of 2021.

The third wave comes as Africa is experiencing a vaccine shortage.

Meanwhile, the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India, has been detected in 14 African countries.

WHO says just slightly more than 1% of Africans have been fully vaccinated.

While approximately 2.7 billion COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered globally, just under 1.5% of those shots have been administered on the African continent.

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