27 African Countries to Get 6 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Next Week

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) says 27 African countries will receive six million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus vaccine next week, thanks to the African Union (AU).

Africa CDC says these countries have already paid in full for the shipments of J&J vaccines which vaccine is administered through a single jab.

Strive Masiyiwa, the AU’s special coronavirus envoy, told journalists that J&J is on track to supply members of the African Union with 400 million vaccine doses by September 2022.

Deliveries are expected to hit an average of 10 million a month by September, rising to 20 million by January until the order is fulfilled by September next year.

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The envoy said six million doses planned for next week “demonstrates that African governments are willing to pay for their vaccines” and “are willing to stand together and fight this disease.”

Eighteen countries still need to finalize their loan agreements with the World Bank and other global lenders before they make payment before they can buy vaccines.

Masiyiwa did not specify which countries would receive the doses.

AU plans to vaccinate 60% of the continent by 2022, approximately 400 million people. A mere 1.4% of the African population has been completely vaccinated to date.

The J&J vaccines were produced by the Aspen Pharmaceutical Company based in Durban, South Africa.

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“We need production capacity now,” Masiyiwa added. “If we do not have production capacity, and this crisis comes back, we will be in the same position that we are in right now.”

Masiyiwa said donors including COVAX will cover the balance of Africa’s vaccine needs, but local production is the real answer.

“It doesn’t matter if you want land or 100% ownership of everything, just produce from Africa,” he told the firms.

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