African countries are set to receive far fewer Covid vaccine doses that initially expected from Covax – the organisation established to ensure more equitable distribution of the jabs.
The World Health Organization, which helped set up Covax, says there is a deficit of 100 million doses.
It will miss the December target of 520 million.
The UN global sharing scheme says bilateral deals that manufacturing companies have with rich countries as well as delays in regulatory approvals are partly to blame for the reduced target.
Just when vaccine supplies were picking up in African countries, an alert issued by Covax is a sign that the global push for vaccine equity is still yet to bear fruit.
African countries are largely dependent on Covax, but so far it has failed to deliver the doses it promised.
Out of the 54 countries, only 12 will achieve a target of vaccinating 10% of their population by the end of September.
And with news that some countries have started giving out booster shots despite calls to refrain from doing so until the end of the year, African governments have to think of new ways of acquiring vaccines for their populations.
Only 3% of the African population are fully jabbed.