HomeNewsAfricaJohnson & Johnson set to boost Africa's COVID-19 vaccination by 400 million

Johnson & Johnson set to boost Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination by 400 million

Africa is set for a huge boost in its COVID-19 vaccination drive after Johnson & Johnson pledged 400 million vaccine doses.

According to reports, J & J has signed an agreement with Africa Vaccine Acquisition Trust Team (AVATT) for the doses. The doses will be for all 55 Africa Union member states.

Third-quarter of 2021

The agreement will see the first batch of the single-shot vaccine arrive on the continent in the third quarter of 2021. The batch will contain 220 million doses.

Johnson & Johnson then said that AVATT could order the other 180 million doses through 2022, adding up to the 400 million.

J & J CEO Alex Gorsky confirmed the news in a statement on Monday.

“From the start of the pandemic, Johnson & Johnson has recognized that none of us is safe until everyone is safe. We have been committed to equitable, global access to the COVID-19 vaccines.” Gorsky said.

Accelerate push towards the end of pandemic

He added that they were working alongside the COVAX facility, in addition to the supplementary agreements with individual countries and regions. The collaboration, he said, would help in accelerating the push towards the end of the pandemic, which is entering its second year.

J & J has struck a deal with South Africa that will see most of Africa’s supplies produced by Aspen Pharma, a South African pharmaceutical plant.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa toured the Aspen Pharma facilities in Port Elizabeth to see the vaccine production’s preparation progress.

44 countries have vaccines

Some 44 African countries have received the COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX and donations. Some of them have also been through bilateral agreements. However, the continent lags, with many of the vaccinated still being frontline workers.

Thus, the agreement between Johnson & Johnson and AVATT could be a game-changer to help the continent beat COVID-19.

So far, Africa has confirmed over 4.1 million COVID-19 cases, with recoveries topping 3.69 million. Deaths have risen sharply to 111,919. Lancet has stated that infections are now worse in this wave than the first two.

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