With the third wave of Covid-19 now pushing Africa’s cumulative infections to a record 6-million, the continent is still months away from any form of normalcy.

This according to the World Health Organization which says that more vaccines are urgently needed for Africa to stave off a devastating wave of Covid-related deaths.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti says over the past month alone, the continent recorded an additional 1-million new Covid-infections.

She says oxygen-supply on the continent is also now under severe strain.

Read the full briefing here.

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The World Health Organization’s Dr. Mike Ryan has warned countries against “pushing” to return to “normalcy” too soon.

Dr Ryan, the Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s emergencies programme, says despite the large number of people that have already received their Covid-19 vaccination, infections in European countries will continue to rise, when the basic health- and safety regulations are ignored.

Ryan says relaxing rules – such as the wearing of masks and disregarding social-distancing measures – are a recipe for disaster.

Access the full briefing here.

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The World Health Organization says the vaccine technology-hub, to be opened here in South Africa, will help bring the country a step closer to developing and producing its own vaccines.

The organization says this will also lessen the country’s dependence on developed countries to supply medicines.

WHO chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan says the organization will partner with the South African and French governments to bring the continent’s first Covid-19 messenger RNA hub into realization.

She says the facility will ensure that, during future pandemics, vaccines reach African countries much faster.

Read more on the initiative here.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.

The Organization says it will now be able to significantly boost its supply of vaccines to the Covax-facility, after green-lighting the use of the vaccine.

The WHO’s prof. Katherine O’Brien says clinical trials have shown that up to 51% of people – vaccinated with Sinovac – developed a less severe form of the virus.

O’Brien says this is the second Chinese vaccine, after Sinopharm, to receive WHO-approval.

Read more here.

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