African health authorities say a sizable spike in COVID-19 cases in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and elsewhere on the continent is finally convincing an initially reluctant population to seek vaccination in large numbers.
Thousands of new coronavirus cases have been reported in West Africa in recent weeks following low vaccination rates and the spread of the delta variant. The doses are also finally arriving from multiple sources, having nearly stopped in recent months.
At first, people were guided by misinformation and conspiracy theories, which prevented many from receiving vaccines. However, authorities have said that more and more West African residents are lining up as people close to them fall ill and the number of funerals increases.
Confirmed cases in Senegal, which had been ahead in the fight against the virus, rose from 380 on July 10 to 1,700 on July 18, the highest number since the start of the pandemic, according to the Health Ministry.
Senegal received almost 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and more than 330,000 of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine last week. Tens of thousands of residents are waiting for a second dose of AstraZeneca, but it is out of stock and no new deliveries are expected until August.
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