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As COVID spikes in Africa, AP reveals low vaccine rates

FILE - In this May 25, 2021, file photo, a health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at the Orange Farm Clinic near Johannesburg. In the global race to vaccinate people against COVID-19, Africa is tragically at the back of the pack. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

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Cape Town, South Africa-based sports writer Gerald Imray and Uganda-based freelance video journalist Patrick Onen combined to illustrate the severe shortages of vaccines and low levels of vaccinations in poor African countries and elsewhere, just as a worrying new rise in infection levels emerged, and as the issue became a key topic for G-7 leaders gathering for a summit.

Imray’s story reported that vaccine shipments to Africa have ground to a “near halt” and that the continent faces a vaccine shortfall of 700 million doses. The reporting used a broad range of sources, including an interview with the head of Africa’s CDC, and strong feeds from colleagues around the world. The story was complemented by a selection of images from AP’s photographic team across Africa.

Onen,meanwhile,obtained rare access to a COVID-19 ICU at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala. As a condition of entry,Onen shared his footage as pool with local broadcasters who were desperate for coverage amid a sharp virus spike. Given only a few minutes on the wards,Onen did a skillful job in bringing out the tension and urgency of the situation, images that no other global media organization was able to obtain.

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A guard turns away a man who was trying to get the Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine at a health facility in Harare, Zimbabwe, June, 8, 2021. – AP Photo / Themba Hadebe
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