…as part of the first monthly shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) is pleased to announce the shipment of 108,000 vaccine doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccines to Namibia on 5th September 2021. This is part of a total of 6.4m vaccine doses to be shipped to African Union Member States in August 2021. The Member States who have ordered vaccines through AVAT will continue to receive shipments for the next following months. In collaboration with the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), UNICEF is providing logistical and delivery services to the Member States.
These deliveries are part of the historic COVID-19 vaccine advance procurement agreement signed on 28 March 2021 by AVAT for the purchase of 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, with the potential to order an additional 180 million doses. The agreement and the start of deliveries mark the first time that the African Union Member States have collectively purchased vaccines to safeguard the health of the African population. In total, the 400m vaccines acquired by AVAT are sufficient to immunise a third of the African population.
The agreement with Johnson & Johnson was made possible through a USD 2 billion facility provided by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), who are also the Financial and Transaction Advisers, Guarantors, Instalment Payment Advisers and Payment Agents. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) provided technical support on the financing arrangements and on the alignment of the AU Ministers of Finance.
The Minister for Health and Social Services in Namibia, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, welcomed the arrival of the vaccines and said, “With the purchase of these vaccines, we hope to upscale our country’s response to the pandemic and reduce the number of deaths as well as hospitalisation cases. This will also hasten the recovery of our country’s economy and restore normalcy.”
AVAT was established by the African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, set up in November 2020 under the African Union chairmanship of HE President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, as part of the African Union’s COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access Strategy, and its goal of vaccinating at least 60 percent of the African population with safe and efficacious vaccines against COVID-19.
This vaccine acquisition and deployment is also supported by an innovative partnership between the World Bank and the AU, African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to expedite access to vaccines throughout the continent.