As new cases of the highly infectious Omicron variant continue to climb in under-vaccinated parts of the world, we speak to the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how vaccine inequity could lead to even more variants of the coronavirus. Dr. John Nkengasong says only 10% of the population is fully immunized in Africa, a continent of 1.3 billion people, and millions of vaccines donated by COVAX went unused because of their short shelf life. Meanwhile, several countries in Africa have begun manufacturing their own vaccines. “We have to shift our focus to vaccinating — that is, making sure that vaccines that are arriving at the airport actually get into the arm of the people,” says Dr. Nkengasong.
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