The African countries that have had the most success acquired doses through several channels, including initiatives like Covax and the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Trust, direct purchases from manufacturers, and donations.
For Eswatini, a landlocked monarchy in southern Africa, a July donation of more than 300,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses from the U.S. government was “a game-changer,” said Fortunate Bhembe, an official with the country’s ministry of health.
The State of Vaccine Mandates in the U.S.
- Vaccine rules. On Aug. 23, the F.D.A. granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and up, paving the way for mandates in both the public and private sectors. Such mandates are legally allowed and have been upheld in court challenges.
- College and universities. More than 400 colleges and universities are requiring students to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Almost all are in states that voted for President Biden.
- Schools. California became the first state to issue a vaccine mandate for all educators in public and private schools. New York City has also introduced a vaccine mandate for teachers and staff, but it has yet to take effect because of legal challenges. On Sept. 27, a federal appeals panel reversed a decision that temporarily paused that mandate. it. Los Angeles has mandated vaccines for students 12 and older who are attending class in person.
- Hospitals and medical centers. Many hospitals and major health systems are requiring employees to get vaccinated. Mandates for health care workers in California and New York State appear to have compelled thousands of holdouts to receive shots.
- New York City. Proof of vaccination is required of workers and customers for indoor dining, gyms, performances and other indoor situations. City education staff and hospital workers must also get a vaccine.
- At the federal level. On Sept. 9, President Biden announced a vaccine mandate for the vast majority of federal workers. This mandate will apply to employees of the executive branch, including the White House and all federal agencies and members of the armed services.
- In the private sector. Mr. Biden has mandated that all companies with more than 100 workers require vaccination or weekly testing, helping propel new corporate vaccination policies. Some companies, like United Airlines and Tyson Foods, had mandates in place before Mr. Biden’s announcement.
The country has also purchased about 400,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Together with more than 100,000 doses expected from Covax later this year, they are intended for use in children ages 12 to 16, Ms. Bhembe said.
South Africa, which has the highest number of cumulative Covid-19 cases on the continent, is emerging from a third wave of Covid-19 infections driven by the Delta variant, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday. At the peak of the wave in July, the country recorded an average of roughly 20,000 new cases a day, the most since last January.
The average number of new infections reported in the last week was around 1,800 a day, Mr. Ramaphosa said, a downward trend that has encouraged officials to ease Covid-19 lockdown regulations, including a curfew and size limit for public gatherings, in place since last March.
“We have been living under the shadow of the pandemic for 574 days now, and all of us have taken strain,” Mr. Rhamaposa said.
South African officials hope to vaccinate 70 percent of the country’s population by the end of the year. So far about 15 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford.