Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Botswana hits key COVID-19 vaccination goal

Botswana last week became one of only six African countries that have achieved the year-end target of fully vaccinating 40% of their people.

The other five African countries that have met the goal that was set in May by the World Health Assembly, the world’s highest health policy-setting body are Seychelles, Mauritius, Morocco, Tunisia and Cabo Verde.

Botswana which is the only mainland sub-Saharan African nation to reach the target is a surprise entry in the limited list of African countries. According to forecasts made end of October, only five African countries, less than 10% of Africa’s 54 nations, were projected to hit the year-end target of fully vaccinating 40% of their people.

At the time, three African countries, Seychelles, Mauritius and Morocco had already met the goal that was set in May by the World Health Assembly, and just two more countries, Tunisia and Cabo Verde, were projected to reach the target.

As at December 15th Cabo Verde and Tunisia had already surpassed the 40% milestone both having fully vaccinated 45% of their population, followed by Botswana with 42% of the country’s population fully vaccinated, according to records from Our World in Data.

Projections by Reuters Covid-19 Tracker, however, indicated that Botswana was likely to have surpassed Cabo Verde and Tunisia by year end. Botswana is currently recording the fastest vaccination rate among all six African countries which have reached the World Health Assembly 40% target.

According to the Reuters Covid-19 Tracker, at the current vaccination speed, it will take Botswana only ten days to vaccinate the next ten percent of the population; Tunisia 58 days to vaccinate the next 10% of its population; Cape Verde 152 days to vaccinate the next 10% of its population; Morocco 174 days to vaccinate the next 10% of its population;

Mauritius 30 days to vaccinate the next 10% of its population and Seychelles 64 days to vaccinate the next 10% of its population.

South Africa and Zimbabwe which are second and third after Botswana in Southern Africa are unlikely to reach the 40% target by year end. South Africa has so far fully vaccinated 26% of its population while Zimbabwe has fully vaccinated 20% of its population. According to the Reuters Covid -19 Tracker, at the current speed, it will take South Africa 113 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population and Zimbabwe 115 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper