The African Union has procured 270 million vaccine doses for the continent. But the first batch will probably not be available until April. The WHO Covax program is to supply the countries with vaccines as early as March.
Africa's states are preparing for the first corona vaccination campaigns. Given the spread of a new virus variant in the south of the continent, they hope for a gradual return to normal. An initiative of the African Union (AU) called AVATT serves as the procurement instrument.
According to the South African AU presidency, 270 million vaccine doses were procured through them. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that 50 million should be available between April and June. Last Thursday, it was announced that the AU had secured vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca through the Indian Serum Institute.
The island nation of Seychelles and the West African state of Guinea had already started their first vaccinations - with preparations from China (Seychelles) and Russia (Guinea).
600 million units through Covax
The WHO Covax program is also running in parallel to the African Union's vaccination campaign. The procurement program aims to supply poorer countries with vaccines. Around 600 million doses of the vaccine are to be delivered to them.
However, the states there could only expect the first corona vaccine doses in March, said the Africa head of the World Health Organization, Matshidiso Moeti, last week. A larger amount of the cans will then follow by June, she said. Unfortunately, there is an unequal distribution of vaccine doses internationally, stressed the regional director.
The doses should be delivered to the individual countries based on the population's size and the severity of the infection. Healthcare workers should be given top priority in getting vaccinations after thousands of them become infected.
3.3 million infected
The number of infections on the continent had recently increased massively after a comparatively mild start of the pandemic in the previous year - according to the AU data; they are currently almost 3.3 million recorded infections and almost 80,000 registered deaths.