The United States today announced the shipment of 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa, beginning with Burkina Faso, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Officials told AFP that shipments to these three countries would take place in a few days and that in the coming weeks, 49 African countries would receive vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer.
Djibouti and Burkina Faso will receive 151,200 doses from Jammu and Kashmir, while Ethiopia will receive 453,600 doses. Joe Biden.
The dispatch is coordinated with multilateral agencies and mechanisms such as AU (African Union) and Covax, the WHO (World Health Organisation) delivery system and the Gavi Vaccine Coalition.
The WHO warned yesterday that in Africa, there has been a 43 percent increase in COVID-19-related deaths in a week, driven by a lack of intensive care beds and oxygen.
“In partnership with the African Union and Kovax, the United States is proud to donate 25 million vaccines against COVID-19,” said Gail Smith, State Department coordinator for COVID-19 and Global Health.
“The Biden government is committed to leading the global response to the pandemic,” he said.
African Union representative Strive Masiwa said the shipment would help advance the goal of immunizing 60% of the continent’s population, “especially at a time when we are seeing a third wave in many countries”.
Benedict Orama, president of Afraximbank, which helps coordinate aid, said the US donation was “an important and welcome gesture.”
There are huge disparities in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world: while the poorest regions receive few doses, richer countries implement massive national immunization programmes.
At the last G7 summit held in the UK, Washington partners agreed to donate a further 500 million vaccines to poor countries.
The White House said it has so far distributed nearly 40 million doses to countries ranging from South Korea to Honduras.