JOHANNESBURG - Africa has only received 10 million of the 600 million COVID-19 vaccine doses it needs.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says if the situation does not improve, it will hit the continent’s economic growth severely and curb anti-poverty efforts.
Africa plans to vaccinate 60 percent of its 1.3 billion people by the end of this year.
The commission says even before the pandemic, income disparities were on the rise across Africa.
While extreme poverty has almost vanished in North Africa, more than 50 percent of the population in Central Africa live below the extreme poverty line.
The UNECA’s Executive Secretary Vera Songwe says the poor vaccine availability for Africa is worrying.
"We have not gotten as Africa huge imports. We're ready to buy the vaccines [but] we cannot find the vaccines," Songwe says.
"I think this talks to the point that we on the continent need to produce this critical commodity."