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Africa: COVID-19 – Announcements/Regulatory Actions/Deployment
Current at 21 Jul 2021; Full scale, interactive dashboard available at: https://africacdc.org/covid-19-vaccination/
Africa announces the rollout of 400m vaccine doses to the African Union Member States and the Caribbean
ADDIS ABABA, 5 August, 2021 – His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and African Union (AU) COVID-19 Champion, is pleased to announce the start of monthly shipments of vaccines acquired by the AU / African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to the AU Member States today. An initiative by the AU Member States to pool their purchasing power, the AVAT, on 28 March 2021, had signed the historic agreement for the purchase of 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, with the potential to order an additional 180 million doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was selected for this first pooled procurement for three reasons: first of all, as a single-shot vaccine, it is easier and cheaper to administer; second, the vaccine has a long shelf-life and favourable storage conditions. Last but not least, the vaccine is partly manufactured on the African continent, with fill-finish activities taking place in South Africa.
President Ramaphosa said: “This is a momentous step forward in Africa’s efforts to safeguard the health and well-being of its people. By working together and by pooling resources, African countries have been able to secure millions of vaccine doses produced right here in Africa. This will provide impetus to the fight against COVID-19 across the continent and will lay the basis for Africa’s social and economic recovery.”…
…This vaccine acquisition is a unique milestone for the African continent. It is the first time Africa has undertaken a procurement of this magnitude involving all Member States. It also marks the first time that the AU Member States have collectively purchased vaccines to safeguard the health of the African population – 400m vaccines are sufficient to immunise a third of the African people and bring Africa halfway towards its continental goal of vaccinating at least 60 per cent of the population. International donors have committed to deliver the remaining half of the doses required through the COVAX initiative.
It is significant that these vaccine doses are being produced on the African continent at the Aspen Pharmacare facility in Gqeberha in South Africa. This is part of the concerted effort by African countries to rally the world to support the TRIPS waiver for technology transfer and active pharmaceutical ingredients to develop our own manufacturing capabilities.
Mr Strive Masiyiwa, African Union Special Envoy, said: “Delivering our first doses to African Union Member States is an unprecedented milestone. We are deploying relentless efforts to help each Member State to reach its goal of immunising 60 per cent of Africans, as recommended by the Africa CDC. Johnson & Johnson AVAT-purchased single-shot vaccines will enable us to considerably improve our vaccination level across the continent.”
Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), said: “During the last months, we have seen the vaccination gap between Africa and other parts of the world widen, and a devastating third wave hit our continent. The deliveries starting now will help us get to the vaccination levels necessary to protect African lives and livelihoods.”
The agreement with Johnson & Johnson was made possible through a USD 2 billion facility provided by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), who are also the Financial and Transaction Advisers, Guarantors, Instalment Payment facility providers and Payment Agents…
AVAT to partner with UNICEF in scaling up vaccine deliveries to African Union Member States
DDIS ABABA/NEW YORK, 2 August 2021 – Having secured access to up to 400 million doses of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine, the African Union (AU), African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and UNICEF are partnering to ensure the seamless procurement and delivery of vaccines to AU Member States. This partnership will help ramp up efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic as less than 2 per cent of people on the continent are fully vaccinated so far.
“We are building a platform for deeper collaboration that will pave the way to a more robust African response to the pandemic and move the continent towards recovery, leveraging the opportunities to strengthen health systems and support the manufacturing sector for job creation,” said Dr. Vera Songwe, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa…
Established by African leaders, AVAT has spearheaded African efforts on fair equitable access and distribution of vaccines, negotiating vaccine acquisition with pharmaceutical companies to at least 60 per cent of the African population with safe and efficacious vaccines to achieve “herd immunity” by 2022…