Cabo Verde vaccinates 40% of population, reaches second global target

Cabo Verde vaccinates 40% of population, reaches second global target

Praia – Cabo Verde has fully vaccinated more than 40% of its population against COVID-19, reaching the end-of-year World Health Organization (WHO) global target aimed at widening vaccination and helping to turn the tide against the pandemic.

This achievement makes Cabo Verde – home to 556 000 people – the fourth African country – after Mauritius, Morocco, and Seychelles – to reach the milestone. Tunisia reached the target in the second week of November, bringing the total number of African countries to reach the target to five. Globally, more than 70 countries have met the 40% target.

In May 2021, WHO set a global target for countries to fully vaccinate 10% of their populations by the end of September; 40% by the end of December; and 70% by mid-2022.

According to WHO, the 70% coverage by 2022 is to stop the COVID-19 pandemic as much as possible. The interim targets of 10% and 40% are to ensure an equitable pace of vaccine rollout globally and appropriate prioritization of the vaccine for people at the highest risk.

“This is a significant achievement,” said Dr Daniel Kertesz, WHO Representative in Cabo Verde. “It shows that with enough vaccines, committed health professionals, engaged political leadership and the will of the people, great strides can be made against COVID-19.”

Cabo Verde has so far received 715 150 doses of COVID-19 vaccines – 161 150 of these from the COVAX Facility, a multilateral initiative aimed at guaranteeing global access to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines, and 554 000 from bilateral deals and donations. Of these, around 236 000 complete doses have been administered.

COVID-19 vaccination in Cabo Verde started in March 2021, prioritizing health workers, people with comorbidities and older people. In June, vaccination was extended to people over 18 years. High-level political commitment and strong community outreach ensured that many people were eager to get vaccinated.

Cabo Verde used its experience in routine immunization and its strong health workforce to boost COVID-19 vaccination. The country has also implemented WHO guidelines, tools and monitoring activities to continually improve the vaccine rollout.

WHO is gathering critical lessons learnt from the vaccination programmes in successful countries such as Cabo Verde to share them with countries across the region and get more countries to the end-of-year finish line.

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