By Tian Johnson, Tom Moultrie, Gregg Gonsalves and Fatima Hassan

Pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer have said low vaccine uptake in Africa is due to increasing hesitancy on the continent. But the truth is the inequitable distribution of COVID vaccines have left Africa as a vaccine desert. 

  • Only 2.5% of the world’s COVID vaccines have gone to African countries.
  • As a result of vaccine hoarding by rich countries, more than 100-million COVID doses could go to waste this year.
  • Rather than focusing on the high levels of vaccine equity, pharmaceutical companies are trying to shift the blame onto vaccine hesitancy on the continent.

This story was produced by the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism. Sign up for the newsletter.