Africa’s Most Virus-Ravaged Nation Runs Out of Vaccines

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Namibia, which currently has Africa’s most severe coronavirus infection rate, said it will from June 29 halt Covid-19 vaccinations except in cases where people need to complete an inoculation course by taking a second shot.

The suspension comes as supplies from Covax, the vaccine-sharing initiative, run out and there are delays to deliveries of vaccines the country has bought itself.

“Our regional vaccines stock level has almost depleted,” the country’s health ministry said in statement on Saturday. “Available doses for both AstraZeneca and Sinopharm should be reserved for second doses in order to provide our communities required immunity.”

The suspension highlights the plight of some of the world’s poorest nations who are battling a third wave of coronavirus infections with little access to vaccines. India’s own outbreak led it to halt exports, including doses meant for Covax, and many of the world’s richest countries have bought more supplies than they need, leaving few doses for nations in Africa and elsewhere.

Namibia had an infection rate of 3,404 per million people in the seven days through June 24, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, putting it ahead of neighboring Botswana and South Africa.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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