Data | Low-income countries have received only 0.27% of the COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa receives the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination at the Khayelitsha Hospital near Cape Town, South Africa. File photo   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Low-income countries have received only 0.27% of the COVID-19 doses administered worldwide while high-income countries (30%) and upper-middle-income countries (52%) have acquired more than 80%. Of the 27 nations termed as low-income, 23 are in Africa. Due to this wide disparity in vaccine supply, of the 52 countries in Africa, 38 have given at least one dose to <5% of population. Worryingly, many African countries have recorded a recent uptick in cases, most of which were due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Vaccine inequity

The map shows % the population that has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the chart depicts the share of doses administered across various income groups of countries. While 27% of the global population has received at least one dose, Africa lags with only 3.13% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose.

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Wide disparities exist in the vaccination drive across various income groups of countries. When the global vaccination drive began, the high-income countries cornered most of the doses in the market, given the aggressive inoculation campaign. After a majority of the population was covered, the upper-middle-income countries dominated the purchase of doses. In contrast, the lower-middle and low-income countries continue to suffer.

Looming threat of Delta variant

The map depicts the biweekly change in COVID-19 infections and the table lists the share of the Delta variant in cases sequenced in select African countries. Africa’s share in global cases has remained low for a large part of the pandemic. However, since June, sharp spikes were recorded across many countries in the continent. For instance, Botswana and Algeria recorded a biweekly growth of 119% and 134% in new cases.