Only 27% of African health workers fully vaccinated, says WHO

Jesusegun Alagbe

Preliminary analysis by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa Region has found that the majority of health workers in Africa are not fully vaccinated, a situation that leaves them dangerously exposed to severe COVID-19 infection.

WHO Africa is worried that this puts at risk not only the health workers’ own health and well-being, but also that of the patients that they look after.

The WHO analysis, based on data from 25 countries in Africa, finds that only just more than 1 in four health workers – or 27% – are fully protected.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said, “Unless our doctors, nurses and other frontline workers get full protection we risk a blowback in the efforts to curb this disease”.

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Appreciating health workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 fight, Moeti said they are “ensuring that our hospitals, clinics and community health centres keep their doors open.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all our dedicated nurses, doctors, laboratory technicians, cleaners and community health workers for their invaluable contributions, and to encourage them all to get vaccinated as soon as doses become available,” she said.

Africa has recorded over 7 million COVID-19 cases and around 200,000 deaths. Globally, the pandemic has infected some 260 million people and claimed over 5 million lives.

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