The African Union said on Wednesday it had secured 270 million doses of anti-Covid vaccine for the continent in a deal that would benefit countries unable to fund their own vaccination campaigns.
Under the agreement, the vaccines are supplied by Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
The doses complement the vaccines secured through Covax, the global overall effort and distribution of vaccines that have entered into agreements to secure two billion doses
“From the start of this pandemic, our focus as a continent has been on cooperation and collective action. We have adhered to the principle that no country should be left behind, “said South African President and AU President Cyril Ramaphosa at a special meeting of the African Union on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa, who set up the African Vaccine Intake Group (AVATT), provided detailed information on the doses it had secured for the special meeting.
Taskforce was set up in August to ensure that the African continent would be able to secure adequate doses to achieve community immunity.
“As a result of our own efforts, we have so far secured a pledge of 270 million vaccines from three major suppliers: Pfizer, AstraZeneca (through the Serum Institute of India) and Johnson & Johnson,”
All 270 million vaccine doses will be made available this year, with 50 million delivered between April and June, a statement said without giving further details on the schedule.
Despite Covax’s efforts, the African Union added in a statement that it remained concerned that the “quantities released between February and June may not extend beyond the needs of frontline healthcare professionals and may therefore not be sufficient. to contain the ever-increasing pandemic in Africa.
“Another challenge is that the target of 600 million doses of Covax should only cover about 300 million people across the African continent, which is only about 20% of the population,” it added.