WHO is betting on the end of the acute phase of the pandemic in 2022.

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The “acute phase” of the COVID-19 pandemic will end this year if the target of 70% of the world’s population is vaccinated, the World Health Organization (WHO) director general said on Friday.

“We are counting on the end of the acute phase of the pandemic this year, provided, of course, that 70% of the world’s population is vaccinated by mid-year, by June or July,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, visiting South Africa. . “(The end of the acute phase) is in our hands (…). It is a matter of choice, “he said.

According to AGERPRES, quoting AFP, the WHO director was visiting the laboratories of the Cape Town biotechnology company Afrigen, based in Cape Town, where the first messenger RNA vaccine against COVID-19 in Africa was manufactured.

Developed based on the sequencing of the publicly available genetic code of the Moderna laboratory, this vaccine will be ready for clinical trials in November, and its approval is scheduled for 2024.

“This vaccine will be better suited to the context in which it will be used, with fewer storage constraints and a lower price,” Tedros said.

The Afrigen project is supported by WHO and the international COVAX mechanism for access to vaccines.

Only 11% of Africans are vaccinated, the lowest rate in the world. The continent must “six times the rate of vaccination” against COVID-19 in hopes of reaching the target of 70% vaccinated people by the end of the first half of 2022, according to WHO Africa.