African Union obtains 270 million anti-covid vaccines for the continent ~ #AFP:


The African Union has obtained 270 million anti-Covid vaccines for the continent, which most countries do not have the means to finance the immunization of their population, South Africa announced in a statement Wednesday evening, who holds the rotating presidency of the AU.

The vaccines, of which at least 50 million will be available between April and June, will be supplied by laboratories Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, which is produced in India, and Johnson & Johnson.

“We have taken a further step to obtain vaccines independently using our own limited resources,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, quoted in the statement.

Agreements to help African countries finance the purchase of these vaccines have been signed with the pan-African Afreximbank (Africa Export-Import Bank) and the World Bank.

Africa has been officially relatively spared from the pandemic so far: the continent has recorded just over 3 million cases and more than 74,000 deaths, according to official data, against 16 million cases and more than 500,000 deaths for the South America and the Caribbean for example.

But several countries on the continent are facing a virulent second wave of the epidemic, like South Africa, the country by far the most affected with more than 1.2 million cases and 35,000 deaths.

The initiative launched by the AU is distinct from the Covax system, the World Health Organization (WHO) and private partners, for equitable access to vaccines. WHO’s goal is to deliver doses for up to 20% of the population of participating countries by the end of the year, with funding for these vaccines secured for the 92 poorest countries or slightly more. rich in the world.

Last week, the WHO announced that they would receive the first doses between the end of January and mid-February.

“While the Covax initiative is essential for Africa, the African Union fears that the volumes, which will be available between February and June, will not exceed the needs for caregivers and therefore not be sufficient to contain the growing figures of the pandemic in Africa, ”the statement said.

In addition, the goal of immunizing 20% ​​of the population is not enough to curb the virus, adds the text.

“Scientists from the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) have indicated that we need to reach at least 60% of the population to significantly slow the spread of the disease.”

The AU mission to find vaccines is in discussions with other manufacturers to obtain more vaccines, said the statement, because “the road is still long” to defeat the virus, admitted Mr. Ramaphosa.


Source: VOA-AFP.


About AFP - Agence France Presse.

AGENCE PRANCE-PRESSE (AFP): is an international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Agence Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency. AFP has regional headquarters in Nicosia, Montevideo, Hong Kong, and Washington, D.C., and news bureaux in 151 countries in 201 locations.

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