NAIROBI, Kenya — The director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says he came down with COVID-19 last week and if he had not been vaccinated earlier, “I would not be here by now.”
An audibly ill John Nkengasong told reporters that despite his vaccination in April, “the severity of the attack is unbearable.” He cited his experience to push back against vaccine hesitancy.
Meanwhile, the African Union says the first of the 400 million single-shot Johnson & Johnson doses that African countries have collectively procured on their own started arriving this week and all should be distributed by September 2022.
The African Union says the 400 million doses “bring Africa halfway towards its continental goal of vaccinating at least 60% of the population.”
Just 1.5% of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated, and the continent has received just 103 million doses, far from the target of vaccinating 780 million by the end of this year. More than half of Africa’s 54 countries are seeing a deadly resurgence in confirmed coronavirus infections.