African Union buys 270 million vaccine doses for continent

“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,” Ramaphosa mentioned in an announcement.

The buy agreements had been negotiated by the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team established by the African Union, the assertion mentioned.

The information comes as coronavirus infections are spiking once more in components of Africa. The continent has surpassed 3 million confirmed instances for the reason that begin of the pandemic, with greater than 1.2 million in South Africa, the place a quickly spreading variant of the coronavirus now makes up most of its new instances.

The acquisition of 270 million doses will complement the 600 million doses anticipated to be made out there to Africa by the COVAX initiative, a World Health Organization and Gavi Vaccine Alliance initiative to assist low- and middle-income international locations to safe entry to vaccines.

The new purchases with the doses from COVAX will present Africa with simply over half of the vaccine that it requires, based on the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The continent seeks to vaccinate about 780 million folks, representing some 60% of its inhabitants of 1.3 billion. The Africa CDC has mentioned 1.5 billion doses are wanted for that, assuming two doses per particular person, at an estimated complete value of some $10 billion.

Financing for particular person African international locations wanting to purchase the vaccines will likely be out there via the African Export-Import Bank, based on the African Union assertion.

It is hoped that worldwide donors will be sure that extra vaccines are supplied via COVAX, to scale back any new debt burden on African states, the assertion mentioned.

“Given the virulent nature of the COVID pandemic, it is clear that a threat to one nation and continent is a threat to all,” the assertion mentioned. “To successfully eradicate the global threat of the disease, it is critical that a majority of citizens of all nations get urgent and equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.”

Ramaphosa mentioned, “There is a long road ahead, but as Africa we are now seeing progress in our shared effort to defeat this disease.”

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