As part of the first monthly shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, the African Vaccination Acquisition Trust (AVAT) announced the arrival in Ethiopia of 108,000 vaccine doses.
AVAT is delighted to announce that, 108,000 vaccination doses of Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccines will be shipped to Ethiopia. This is part of a total shipment of 6.4 million vaccine doses to African Union member countries in August 2021. Members who bought vaccinations through AVAT will continue to receive shipments for the foreseeable future. UNICEF provides logistics and delivery services to Member States in conjunction with the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP).
These shipments are part of a historic COVID-19 vaccine advance procurement deal signed by AVAT on March 28, 2021 for the purchase of 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, with the option to acquire an additional 180 million doses. The agreement and the beginning of delivery represent the first time that African Union Member States have jointly acquired vaccinations to protect the African population’s health. The 400 million vaccinations obtained by AVAT are enough to immunize one-third of Africa’s population.
The deal with Johnson & Johnson was made possible by a USD 2 billion facility granted by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), which also serves as the Financial and Transaction Advisers, Guarantors, Instalment Payment Advisers, and Payment Agents. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) provided technical support with the financial arrangements and the AU Ministers of Finance’s alignment.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Lia Tadesse, hailed the delivery of the vaccinations, saying, “The acquisition of these vaccines would strengthen our national COVID-19 immunization program- in addition to helping the current COVID rollout.”
The African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team was established 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, with the goal of vaccinating at least 60% of the African population with safe and effective vaccines.
This vaccine purchase and deployment is also backed by an innovative collaboration between the World Bank and the African Union, African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, which aims to increase access to vaccinations across the continent.