False: Africa is only six percent vaccinated, and COVID-19 has practically disappeared from the continent.

By: Rahul Adhikari
February 8 2023

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False: Africa is only six percent vaccinated, and COVID-19 has practically disappeared from the continent.


The Verdict False

A screenshot of an old article is being shared to make false claims. Fresh cases continue to emerge in Africa where vaccinations rate is nearly 30%.

Claim ID 3624594a


A screenshot of a headline from an article has been doing the rounds on social media, claiming that Africa was only six percent vaccinated and COVID-19 has practically disappeared from the continent. According to the viral screenshot, the article being shared was published by a media outlet called News Target. The article implies that the low vaccination rate in the continent has ensured that COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the African people implying "that there is a direct correlation between getting injected and getting sick or dying." Multiple users on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have shared the viral screenshot fuelling the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination and the pandemic. 

In Fact

We found that the report was published by the website News Target on November 22, 2021. The report cited an Associated Press(AP) report dated November 19, 2021, stating that less than six percent of Africa’s population is vaccinated, and the infection rates are comparatively low, despite the tendency of the population to go maskless. The report by AP discussed the prevalence of COVID-19 in Africa, with researchers surmising that the young population's tendency to spend time outdoors and the lower urbanization rates could be the reason for the low infection rates in the continent. 

While News Target labels itself "Uncensored and Independent Media News," from the language of the article, it is clear that the aim is to undermine the travesties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The article refers to COVID-19 as “Chinese virus scam,” “plandemic,” “Fauci flu”— terms associated with various COVID-19 conspiracy theories that have been debunked repeatedly by various news outlets and fact-checking organizations like Logically.

While It is true that in November 2021, Africa did have a vaccination rate of 6 percent and was still one of the lesser affected areas of the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), this data point is outdated and is shared without context. As of March 2022, Africa had fully vaccinated 15 percent of its population, which rose to 24 percent in October 2022. As of January 30, data published by WHO shows that 28.7 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and 35.2 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Therefore, this part of the claim being shared is clearly false.

It is also important to note that international bodies like the UNICEF and organizations like the Amnesty International had pointed out the "vaccine inequity" between high-income countries and low-income countries, especially in Africa. Wealthy countries, including the G-20 countries, were even condemned for not living up to their promise of providing vaccine supplies to low-income countries on time.

The News Target article also claimed that COVID-19 has completely disappeared from the continent. However, this assertion is not true either. A press briefing by the Africa Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from November 25, 2021, shows that in the week of 15 – 21 November 2021, a total of 24,474 new cases and 973 fresh deaths were reported in Africa. Several countries were experiencing a fourth COVID wave at the time as well. Further, COVID has not disappeared from Africa even now. According to WHO data updated February 1, the continent currently has 521,066 active cases of COVID-19. 

The Verdict

A screenshot of an old and misleading article from 2021 is being shared to falsely claim that Africa is only six percent vaccinated and that COVID-19 has disappeared. According to WHO data, 28.7 percent of the continent's population has been fully vaccinated, and fresh cases continue to emerge in the continent. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before