The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Director John Nkengasong on Thursday said he envisages most African countries will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines by the second half of 2021.
“2020 was a tough year, but we believe through collaborative efforts and global solidarity, we can turn the corner on the disease in the African continent in 2021 by availing access to COVID-19 vaccines,” Nkengasong said at a virtual press conference.
“African states should be actively prepared to vaccinate a large number of people speedily and reach all corners of the continent, when they eventually receive the COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.
The Africa CDC director called on African countries and the public to continue implementing anti-COVID-19 precautionary measures.
“We appeal at the continent level for the need to exercise discipline, cooperation and political leadership to keep COVID-19 at bay,” Nkengasong said.
Nkengasong also appealed to the international community to help the continent, which is grappling with a second wave of the pandemic, to receive COVID-19 vaccines in a timely manner.
Noting that Africa recorded 154,000 new COVID-19 cases and 3,500 deaths in the last one week, Nkengasong urged continued vigilance against the spread of the disease across the continent.
As of Thursday afternoon, the African continent registered 2,727,345 COVID-19 cases, with the death toll reaching 64,760.