The Africa Centre for Disease Control and prevention (Africa CDC) secures first tranche of COVID-19 vaccines.
The African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) which was established by African Union (AU) Chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday reported to a special meeting of the AU Bureau of the Assembly that it has secured a provisional 270 million vaccine doses for African countries, with at least 50 million being available for the crucial period of April to June 2021.
The vaccines will be supplied by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, through an independent licensee, Serum Institute of India and Johnson & Johnson.
These efforts complement the COVAX facility, a World Health Organisation and Gavi Vaccine Alliance initiative to help low- and middle-income countries secure access to vaccines on a fair and equitable basis.
AVATT, a 10-member team drawn from across the continent, was established in August 2020 to ensure that the African continent would be able to secure sufficient vaccine doses to achieve herd immunity.
Ramaphosa says, “From the onset of this pandemic, our focus as a continent has been on collaboration and collective effort. We have held steadfastly to the principle that no country should be left behind. With this in mind, we have not only campaigned vigorously for changes through all the available international forums, but we have taken the additional step to independently secure vaccines using our own limited resources as member states.”
He says, “As a result of our own efforts we have so far secured a commitment of a provisional amount of 270 million vaccines from three major suppliers: Pfizer, AstraZeneca (through Serum Institute of India) and Johnson & Johnson.”
Below is the full statement:
Last month, the WHO gave a briefing on Covax: