Africa is in the process of getting a Covid-19 vaccine, but there will be only 220 million doses available in the initial stage, medical experts said during a panel discussion on Africa’s response to the pandemic.
African countries need to get involved in the development of the Covid-19 vaccine to ensure adequate access once a vaccine has been developed.
Millions of Africans died in the late 1990s and early 2000s because the continent did not have access to life-prolonging antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). The mainland cannot afford it to happen again with Covid-19.
Covid-19 vaccine development and access to it were discussed by a panel of experts presented by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases (DNDi) initiative.
The panel consisted of Professor Helen Rees of the Wits Institute for Reproductive Health and HIV, Dr Borna Nyaoke-Anoke of the DNDi, Professor Steve Ahuka, the incident manager for the Covid-19 response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Dr John Nkengasong, a virologist from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nkengasong said of the 1.7 million people infected in Africa, 1.5 million recovered from Covid-19, while the continent peaked at 18,000 new infections per day.
Nkengasong said the infection rate …