AU President Cyril Ramaphosa said vaccines from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca would be available this year.
Millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine secured by the African Union (AU) will be allocated based on country populations, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa, who is the current AU chairman, said on Wednesday that vaccines from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca would be available this year, but he did not say how much each African country would receive.
No African country has launched large-scale immunization campaigns and the AU’s 270 million vaccines, if administered so that there are two per person, would still only cover about 10% of the continent’s 1.3 billion inhabitants.
“The Africa CDC has already defined the allocations that each country will be able to get, and the allocation will be based on the size of your population,” said Ramaphosa, referring to the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
Looking to China
Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong on Thursday warned vaccines would not be a silver bullet for Africa as it would take time for them to be rolled out and a second wave of infections had not still peaked.
The mainland’s confirmed cases have exceeded 3.1 million, with more than 76,000 deaths.
Speaking to South African news website Eyewitness News and Radio 702, Ramaphosa also suggested that the AU would source vaccines from China.
“China will be a part of it as well, although it will join later,” he said.
South Africa itself plans to access doses through three sources: AU Agreement, Global Access Mechanism for COVID-19 Vaccines (COVAX, co-led by World Health Organization) and direct agreements with manufacturers.
South Africa has recorded the most coronavirus infections and deaths in Africa, at around 1.3 million and 36,000.