A total of 270 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been secured for African countries, with at least 50 million shots available from April to June, a task force established by the African Union announced Wednesday.
The vaccines will be from Pfizer, AstraZeneca (through Serum Institute of India) and Johnson & Johnson, according to a African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) news release.
“From the onset of this pandemic, our focus as a continent has been on collaboration and collective effort. We have held steadfastly to the principle that no country should be left behind," said Chair of the African Union and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
All 270 million vaccine doses will be made available this year, he added.
These vaccines have been secured alongside a vaccine program from COVAX, a World Health Organization and Gavi Vaccine Alliance initiative that aims to provide worldwide access to effective Covid-19 vaccines.
Ramaphosa said that while the initiative was "vital" it may “not extend beyond the needs of frontline health care workers, and may thus not be enough to contain the ever-increasing toll of the pandemic in Africa.”