By mid-March 36 African countries have received COVID-19 vaccines and 24 of them had already launched vaccination campaigns. Most of the countries use AstraZeneca/Oxford, which is rolled out through COVAX. Recently South Africa, Guinea-Bissau, the Democratic Republic of the Congo have suspended the use of the coronavirus vaccine due to concerns about its alleged side effects. Other countries marked with an exclamation mark have not yet announced the launch of a vaccination campaign.
Both Tunisia and Algeria have begun vaccination using the Russian Sputnik V. This vaccine has already been authorized for full or emergency use in Egypt, Morocco, Seychelles, Cameroon, Gabon, Djibouti, Ghana, Tunisia, Algeria and Zimbabwe.
Twelve countries in total have acquired batches of Sinopharm. Some countries — Zimbabwe, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Sierra Leone and Guinea — have received it as a donation from China, and the Seychelles — as a donation from the United Arab Emirates.
Last June Tanzania’s President John Magufuli declared the country free of COVID-19 thanks to prayers by citizens and refused to launch a vaccination campaign. Yesterday the Vice President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan reported the death of the President John Magufuli. Officially it had been diagnosed as heart illness, but it has also been rumored that the real reason was COVID-19, as Magufuli has not been seen in public for several weeks.
According to Dr. Richard Mihigo, program area manager for immunization and vaccine development at WHO’s Regional Office for Africa, Tanzania, Madagascar, Burundi, and Eritrea are the only countries that have not yet completed the necessary requirements for COVAX vaccines.