COVID-19 Vaccinations Roll Out Slowly in the COMESA Region

 Three COMESA Countries Egypt, Mauritius and Seychelles have rolled out the COVID-19 vaccinations. According to the COMESA Early Warning System (COMWARN) report, countries in the COMESA region have however, been slow to roll out COVID-19 vaccination. The slow rollout in Africa generally has been attributed to the costs of procurement, availability and safety concerns.

Most developed countries that had earlier procured COVID-19 vaccines from the bigger pharmaceuticals started vaccinating their citizens earlier in the year.

Data compiled by COMWARN indicates that Seychelles has so far vaccinated 37,589 people. Since the onset of the pandemic in the region in February 2020, the region has recorded a total of 1,047,018 COVID-19 cases.

While the numbers of cases have been increasing, the region has also recorded a high number of recoveries. Currently, the cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths in the region stands at 30,248. The countries that have so far recorded the highest numbers of cases include Tunisia (217,753), Egypt (170,207), Ethiopia (142,994), Libya (124,882) and Kenya (101,944).

The high numbers in some of these countries is partly attributed to high rates of testing and non-adherence to COVID-19 measures. The number of recoveries in these countries is also commendable with Kenya  at 88.61%, Egypt at 87.94%, Ethiopia (84.42%), Libya (82.86% and Tunisia at  77.96%.

On the other hand, Djibouti (with 5,950 cases), Somalia (4,862), Comoros (3,088), Eritrea (2,326), Burundi (1,728), Seychelles (1,575) and Mauritius (593) have recorded relatively low cases. The populations in the majority of these countries are relatively low making it easier for the governments to implement strict measures. In this category, Djibouti and Somalia had recorded high numbers of daily rates in the initial stages.