Africa Union secures 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses: Ramaphosa

14 Janvier, 2021, 12:12 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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According to the BBC, AU head and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised all of the doses will be used this year.

These efforts complement the Covax facility, a World Health Organisation (WHO) and Gavi Vaccine Alliance initiative to help low and middle-income countries secure access to vaccines on a fair and equitable basis.

"... We have not only campaigned vigorously for changes through all the available global forums, but we have taken the additional step to independently secure vaccines using our own limited resources as member states", Ramaphosa said. The continent has surpassed 3 million confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, with more than 1.2 million in South Africa, where a rapidly spreading variant of the coronavirus now makes up most of its new cases.

South Africa announced last week that it will get the first one million vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII) in January and an additional 500,000 doses in February.

However, he added that they will be allocated on the continental platform recently set up by the AU to make it easier for Africa's 54 countries to pool their purchasing power and buy pandemic supplies in bulk.

So far, Ndembi revealed that African officials have approached at least 10 vaccine manufacturers and developers as the continent seeks to vaccinate 60% of its population of 1.3 billion people, or about 780 million people.

"Another challenge is that the target of 600 million doses from Covax will cover only about 300 million people across the African continent, which is only about 20 per cent of the population", said Mr Ramaphosa. We plan to have these by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

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At the time the country said that it had already submitted all the necessary requirements to the COVAX framework.

Africa requires 1.5 billion doses for the vaccination exercise at an estimated cost of $10 billion.

Ndembi has said he's very optimistic that can be achieved within two years.

Africa has scrambled on multiple fronts to obtain vaccine supplies.

AU chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa - through his African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team - has secured a provisional 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for African countries.

Individual African countries have been negotiating large purchase agreements with pharmaceuticals.

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