Africa: No Masks, No Vax, No COVID

Africa’s less than 6% vaccination rate and lack of mask-wearing make it “one of the least [Covid-19] affected regions in the world,” according to the World Health Organization.

QUICK FACTS:
  • “Africa doesn’t have the vaccines and the resources to fight COVID-19 that they have in Europe and the U.S., but somehow they seem to be doing better,” Wafaa El-Sadr, chair of global health at Columbia University, told The Associated Press (AP).
  • Fewer than 6% of people in Africa are vaccinated, AP also notes, and busy African marketplaces are filled with hundreds of “mostly unmasked” people.
  • Last week, Zimbabwe recorded “just 33 new COVID-19 cases and zero deaths, in line with a recent fall in the disease across the continent, where World Health Organization data show that infections have been dropping since July.”
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) describes Africa as “one of the least affected regions in the world” in its weekly Covid-19 pandemic statements.
  • In many parts of Africa, the coronavirus pandemic is “quickly being relegated to the past, as political rallies, concerts and home gatherings have returned,” reports AP.
  • Africa currently has fewer cases of Covid-19 than Europe, even though 66% of Europe’s population is fully vaccinated and Europe is experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections (here).
  • WHO data show that coronavirus deaths in Africa make up only 3% of the global total, while deaths in North and South America account for 46% and deaths in Europe make up 29%.
BACKGROUND:
  • 65.55% of European populations have been fully vaccinated and 69.9% have received at least one dose, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
  • Nevertheless, the World Health Organization reported on Nov 16 that coronavirus “deaths in Europe rose 5% in the previous week, making it the only region in the world where Covid-19 deaths increased.”
  • In the U.S., several Los Angeles County communities with the highest rates of coronavirus cases are also communities that have higher than average vaccination rates, according to local reports. Barbara Ferrer, LA County’s Department of Public Health Director, said authorities are “trying to examine what factors are in play in individual communities that have above-average vaccination rates but still had among the highest new-case rates.”

Jon Fleetwood is Managing Editor for American Faith and author of “An American Revival: Why American Christianity Is Failing & How to Fix It.“