The African Union’s Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Africa CDC, is aiming to vaccinate 60% of the continent’s population in the next two years.
The Africa CDC head, Cameroonian John Nkengasong, told CNN’s Richard Quest in an interview last week that the continent’s race for vaccines will largely be through the WHO-led COVAX facility and the AU’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, AVATT.
According to him, a sub-target for the Africa CDC will be to inoculate 30-40 percent of the continent’s population by end of this year.
“The target is 60% (African population) in two years. We have also set a sub-target, to immunize about 30 – 40% of our population in 2021 if we have a chance to be ahead of the pandemic.
“Remember that COVAX is going to supply us with at least 25% of the vaccines that we need. We have also as a continent established what we call the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, AVATT; which they are trying to get supplementary doses of vaccines. But we have secured close to about 500 million doses of vaccines,” he stressed.
AVATT’s efforts as of February 19
AVATT announced having secured 270 million doses secured from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnsons, all that consignmenthas so far been taken up by the first allocation phase deadline through the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP).
The most recent deal involves 300 million Sputnik V vaccines, it brings the estimated total to 570 million doses. AMSP accelerates online COVID-19 vaccines pre-orders for the 55 African Union member states.
“The Sputnik V vaccine from the Russian Federation is now available on the AMSP for the consideration of our AU Member States,” said Dr John Nkengasong. “Bilateral and private sector partnerships such as these aid our efforts to bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end,” he added.