The French presidency has pledged to send 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa within the next three months.
The vaccines will be allocated and distributed through the African Union Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and Covax. AVAT is a platform for enabling group purchases of vaccines by AU members to help them meet at least 50 per cent of their needs.
The statement by Macron’s office says enough jabs have now been purchased through AVAT to enable vaccination of 400 million people in Africa, a third of the continent’s population by September 2022, at a cost of three billion dollars.
At a conference in Berlin last week, African leaders renewed calls for vaccine equity.
Africa has administered the least vaccines in any continent, globally. Only 2% of Africa’s population of 1.2 billion is now fully vaccinated.
While African countries have mostly relied on multilateral and bi-lateral donations, activists have called the inequity, vaccine apartheid.
In August the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a moratorium on giving third doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccines until at least the end of September, to allow at least 10 percent of the population of every country to be vaccinated.
So far, low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people, due to lack of supply.
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