Vaccinating Africa

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China announced that it will provide vaccine aid to African countries including Ethiopia in a concrete step in honoring President Xi Jinping’s pledge of making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good.

At the request of the WHO, China has decided to provide 10 million doses of domestic vaccine to the COVAX to meet the urgent needs of developing countries. On top of that, China has so far provided vaccine assistance to 53 developing countries that have made requests, and has exported vaccines to 22 countries.

“China is committed to building a China-Africa community of health for all. China will continue to work with Africa to fully deliver on the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, with greater focus on public health, economic reopening and improvement of livelihoods,” said Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Similarly, on a continental scale, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team [AVATT], set up by the African Union to acquire additional vaccine doses so that Africa can attain a target immunization of 60% has stated it has received an offer of 300 million Sputnik V vaccines from the Russian Federation. This includes a financing package for any member states wishing to secure this vaccine.

“We are grateful to receive the Sputnik V vaccines from the Russian Federation and tremendously proud to be able to offer them on the AMSP for our AU Member States,” says Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) adding that, “Bilateral and private sector partnerships such as these are critical in our efforts to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end.”
While details, including clinical and technical information, are now accessible on the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), Sputnik V vaccines will be available for a period of 12 months commencing by May 2021.

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