At the small hospital where Dr Oumaima Djarma works in Chad’s capital, there are no debates over which coronavirus vaccine is the best. There are simply no vaccines at all.
Not even for the doctors and nurses like her, who care for COVID-19 patients in Chad, one of the least-developed nations in the world where about one third of the country is engulfed by the Sahara desert.While wealthier nations have stockpiled vaccines for their citizens, many poorer countries are still scrambling to secure doses. A few, like Chad, have yet to receive any.
The World Health Organization says nearly a dozen countries — many of them in Africa — are still waiting to get vaccines. Those last in line on the continent along with Chad are Burkina Faso, Burundi, Eritrea and Tanzania.
And in places where there are no vaccines, there’s also the chance that new and concerning variants could emerge, said Gian Gandhi, UNICEF’s COVAX coordinator for Supply Division.