Alarm in Africa: Virus surges, vaccines grind to ‘near halt’

A health worker picks syringes as seniors get vaccinated with the first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at the newly-opened mass vaccination program for the elderly at a drive-thru vaccination center in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — COVID-19 vaccine shipments have ground to “a near halt” in Africa while virus cases have spiked 20% over the last two weeks, the World Health Organization said Thursday, a bleak scenario for the continent on both those critical fronts.