#COVID-19: Comparing provinces with other countries 23 March Update, Vaccinations in African countries

Numbers from China continue to climb with infections up 59 percent and deaths up 21 percent. New omicron variant showing up in increased infections in some countries.

Vaccinations: Some minor shifts but convergence among provinces and countries. Canadians fully vaccinated 82.7 percent, compared to Japan 79.6 percent, UK 73.8 percent and USA 66.1 percent.

Immigration source countries: China fully vaccinated 88.7 percent, India 60.1 percent, Nigeria 4.5 percent, Pakistan 47 percent, Philippines 60.3 percent.

Trendline Charts:

Infections: Limited signs of new omicron variant yet in Canada, with Atlantic Canada infection rates not yet slowing town.

Deaths: No major changes.

Vaccinations: No major relative changes, with Japan ahead of New York and Alberta.


Infections: Italy ahead of California.

Deaths: No relative change.

Informative analysis in The Economist:

It is little over a year since the first doses of life-saving vaccines were delivered to Africa under the Covid-19 vaccines Global Access Facility (covax), a scheme aimed at helping poorer countries get inoculated. Yet what should have been a celebration of the region’s fastest-ever vaccine rollout—with 400m doses jabbed into waiting arms—was instead marred by disappointment at how much more could have been achieved.

Listen to this story.

Instead of complaining about not getting vaccines, some countries are now protesting that they are being drowned in a deluge of the stuff and are unable to use it all. Last month Africa cdc appealed to donors to stagger the supply of their shots. “We have not asked them to pause the donations, but to co-ordinate with us so that the new donations arrive in a way so that countries can use them,” said John Nkengasong, the director of Africa cdc.

Increased deliveries are exposing logistical defects in distribution within countries, while weak health-care systems have been unable to jab doses into arms as fast as they get them. Across Africa as a whole just 62% of delivered vaccines have been administered and 29 countries have used less than half of their supplies, says the who. Among the worst laggards are the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has used 15% of its consignments and jabbed less than 2% of its eligible population, and Burundi, which has used less than 2%.

Also hidden in the averages are big gaps in vaccination rates between cities and the countryside. Although continent-wide data are not available, Githinji Gitahi, the chief executive officer of Amref Health Africa, an ngo, says this trend is clear across many countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. In Kenya 51% of adults in Nairobi, the capital, had been fully vaccinated by March 16th. But in Mandera county, a poor semi-arid region next to the border with Somalia, only 10% had been fully jabbed.

Part of the reason is logistical. Freezers for storing vaccines are in short supply. But this should be surmountable. Take Uganda. By November just 14% of its eligible population had received their first dose. But in a push supported by donors including the American government, it bumped that rate up to 47% in just six weeks. In Ivory Coast, where many people were nervous about the jab, the government bumped up the vaccination rate from 22% to 36% in the month of December by running radio campaigns to allay people’s fears. These speedy successes suggest that in many places the biggest shortage is not of freezers or nurses, but of zeal on the part of the authorities to go out and get injecting. 

Source: Africa has plenty of covid doses, but it lags in jabs

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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