Updated Every Month
Last year, in 2020, we were the first to comprehensively track the impact of COVID19 across Africa with this regular infographics series. We not only published these week after week – a total 23 editions in both English and Chinese over the year – but by doing so also gathered unique data and shaped understanding of the decisive African leadership that led to lower COVID19 prevalance in Africa. We plan to continue this work in 2021, albeit at a slower pace with monthly updates which we hope will continue to provide a key means for African citizens, policy makers, journalists and others to understand what is really happening, across and within the continent.
With our first infographic of 2021, our focus is where we left off in 2020 – vaccines. In that last graphic, we ended on a mixed note. On the one hand, we reminded our readers that many African countries are doing their best to build an alternative, economically feasible means of living with COVID19. There is still no “mass outbreak” across the continent – Africa as a whole still has considerably less cases than the rest of the world. But we also highlighted new “second waves” of COVID19 in certain countries, and explained how far behind African economies are in access to global testing.
Our COVID19 in Africa news at the beginning of 2021 is much the same – a mixed picture, and that picture now extends to vaccines – on which we have done some in-depth analysis.
The good news on vaccines is that a month ago, only 8 countries had put aside finance to ordering vaccines. Today, 21 countries have pre-ordered vaccines, and we know for most of those countries how much they are ordering and from whom.
In total, these 21 countries – including low-income and upper-middle-income countries – have ordered a total 260 million doses of vaccines. 35% of those are from the UK’s pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca to 7 countries, 33% from China’s Sinopharm, to 4 African countries, and on the other end just 1% of total doses from Russia. Some countries such as Tunisia and Sudan have not specified from whom their vaccines have been ordered.
So what’s the bad news? Well, these 260 million doses will be very unevenly distributed between the 21 countries – with some countries such as Seychelles aiming to have enough vaccines to cover a whopping 178% of its population, versus others such as Cote D’Ivoire, Algeria, Rwanda and even South Africa covering 1% or less of their populations. Overall, only 4 of the 21 have ordered enough to cover more than 20% of their population so far. Not to mention the other 34 African countries that have not made any orders as yet.
In some ways, we are reminded of our early findings in 2020, where we saw African countries working hard to deal with COVID19, with little support from the international community. 260 million doses is not only enough to cover a paltry 10% of African citizens, it also accounts for just 3.4% of the global doses that have been ordered to date.
How will African economies reopen to tourism, international trade or business travel and escape social distancing if there is such unequal access to vaccines? Will Africa become the future hotspot for COVID19 as others get their vaccines?
Last year we concluded our infographic worried that African people will be left behind. We begin this year worried, but still hopeful that African leadership will prevail, as it did for COVID19 itself in 2020.
Check out the graphics and numbers here, and let us know your feedback.
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To find out how Development Reimagined can help you, your organisation or Government during the COVID-19 outbreak please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Special thanks go to Joana Cobbinah, Rosie Wigmore, Rosie Flowers, and Jing Cai for their work on the graphic and collecting/analysing the underlying data.
The data was collated from a range of sources including: government websites and media reports, the IMF policy tracker; the US Chamber COVID19 Dashboard; Our World in Data, Africa CDC and Worldometer. Our methodology is entirely in-house, based on analysis of spending, social distancing, income categories and other trends.
If you spot any gaps or have any enquiries, please send your feedback to us at DRteam@developmentreimagined.com, we will aim to respond asap.