Covid-19 vaccine status in Africa
The distribution of the Covid-18 vaccine differs from other pharmaceutical distributions. It requires insurers of the pharmaceutical industry to collaborate with their clients to ensure safe transit.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says a target of fully vaccinating 10% of all people in Africa by the end of September won’t be achieved unless supplies improve.
Less than 4% of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated, compared with around 54% in the US and 65% in the UK.
The WHO says African countries have so far received 177 million vaccine doses.
The global Covax vaccine scheme, intended to help poorer countries, has supplied about 37% of these, with the rest acquired through bilateral deals and donations from a variety of sources.
WHO data shows that 14 African countries have so far hit the target of 10% fully vaccinated, but many of the larger countries with the poorest populations are lagging far behind.
“Many of these [more highly vaccinated] countries are in the upper-middle or high-income brackets and have procured vaccines directly from manufacturers,” WHO Africa regional director Matshidiso Moeti says.
The WHO has projected that the continent needs a total of about 270 million vaccine doses to reach the target of 10% fully vaccinated by the end of this month.
Some African countries have managed to quickly use up their vaccine supplies, while others have had a slow uptake of jabs. The slow rate of vaccination is caused partly by issues around distributing the vaccines, such as the lack of health infrastructure, funding for medical supplies used during vaccination and staff. But there are fears that vaccine hesitancy and scepticism could be playing a role.
The WHO has called on African nations to push forward with their vaccination programs. It’s also pointed out that although overall case numbers are declining slightly in Africa, in some parts of the continent they are going up.
Strategic partnership formed to improved food innovation in West Africa
Germany-based fragrances, care, flavourings, and nutrition manufacturer, Symrise AG has entered a strategic partnership with Freddy Hirsch Nigeria, a manufacturer of spices, ingredients and flavours to boost food innovation and nutrition in West Africa.
Under the new deal, the companies will focus on the development, launch and commercialisation of “transformational food products”: general seasoning, bouillon meat, snacks and instant noodles. Through the partnership, the companies said they aim to deliver authentic regional and hyperlocal African flavours and ingredients.
“Africa’s projected population of 3 billion people by 2050 presents a large market for food and nutrition globally”, says Sofiane Berrahmoune, sub-regional director flavour Africa Middle East. “Symrise AG is leading in meeting the needs of its customers and with this strategic partnership with West Africa’s leading flavourhouse – Freddy Hirsch Nigeria.
“We can deliver even greater speed to market in Africa. This strategic partnership with Freddy Hirsch Nigeria will give us deeper access to valuable insights about Africa’s food industry.”
Increasing urbanisation, rising incomes, a growing regional population, and evolving lifestyle changes are driving the African food flavour and enhancer ingredient market and increasing the consumption of processed foods and beverages.
Together, Symrise AG and Freddy Hirsch Nigeria are aiming to position themselves as the “leading contributors to the evolution of the food and beverage industry” in West Africa and the Middle East. “Together, we are stronger than ever, committed to co-create with Freddy Hirsch Nigeria, combining the best of our strengths and leveraging our strong global footprint with our winning local flexibility, market, and consumer understanding,” concluded Berrahmoune.
New DHL Global Forwarding Investment Into Johannesburg Facility
While it is much to early to fully grasp the economic impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic DHL has invested R127-million in a new 13 000 m2 facility. Twice the size of its current set-up and located next to the OR Tambo International Airport aimed at cementing its position within South Africa.
This new facility will consist of a 10 000 m2 warehouse that enables DHL Forwarding consolidation on all customer warehousing requirements. It will also boast will an exclusive and specialized cold chain facility that consists of three adjustable temperature-controlled refrigerators geared to handle life science and healthcare products in and out of South Africa.
The warehouse is also able to support other value-added services including cross-docking, storage for air, ocean, and road freight services, as well as a platform for breakbulk cargo. The customised built on the world-class specification with the location only a short distance from the airport and arterial thoroughfares and upcoming industrial parks, will make this new facility a complete game changer for DHL within the country.
South Africa’s Vaccine Rollout and What to Expect:
As mentioned by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night a deal was struck with the Serum Institute of India (SII) and will see South Africa get a million Covid-19 vaccine doses before the end of January and a further 500, 000 doses are due in February.
The President also mentioned that a comprehensive strategy has been put in place to reach all parts of the country. It will also be far more extensive than the HIV treatment programme or even the national, provincial, and local elections in terms of the number of people who must be reached within a short time span.
Dozens of countries, both rich and poor, have started implementing a mass vaccination programme, including the US, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. During the announcement it was also mentioned that the vaccination rollout will be divided into three-phases, in which phase one would prioritise frontline healthcare workers, phase two would target 16 million individuals that include essential service workers, people with comorbidities and the elderly, with phase three focusing on a further 22 million people.
A person who has been vaccinated has a much slimmer chance of becoming ill and dying from Covid-19. When enough people have been vaccinated, we will reach what is knows as ‘population immunity’ meaning when enough of the population is immune to the virus to provide indirect protection to those who are not immune, reducing the spread and bringing the virus under control.
The Department of Health is playing its cards very close to its chest and has been extremely reluctant to provide any logistical detail of how a vaccination rollout will work.