African Union announce arrival of J&J vaccines in more African nations

A total of 6.4m doses to be shipped to African Union Member States this month.

On August 05th 2021 Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and African Union (AU) COVID-19 champion announced the rollout of 400m vaccine doses to the AU Member States and the Caribbean. The single shot J&J vaccines were acquired by the AU in collaboration with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust as part of an initiative by the AU Member States to pool their purchasing power. Togo became the first African nation to receive their vaccine shipment of 118,000 doses. Since then, several other African countries have confirmed receipt of their much-awaited shipments. Both Lesotho and Mauritius confirmed receipt of their 108,000-dose shipment on 07th August. Thereafter, Egypt and Angola confirmed arrival of their shipments of 261,600 and 165,600 doses respectively on Monday 09th August.

The delivery of the doses comes as 32 of the continent’s 55 countries are battling a third wave of infections, 25 of which are experiencing a severe wave. Over the past four weeks the continent has recorded a 2% increase in cases and a 6% increase in deaths. Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC, said: “During the last months, we have seen the vaccination gap between Africa and other parts of the world widen, and a devastating third wave hit our continent. The deliveries starting now will help us get to the vaccination levels necessary to protect African lives and livelihoods.” The J&J vaccine is partly manufactured on the continent, with fill-finish activities taking place at Aspen Pharmacare’s flagship facility in Gqeberha, South Africa.