South Africa donates two million COVID-19 jabs to other African countries

Donation said to be worth R286 million will see vaccines directly distributed to the continent’s poorest countries.

The country’s government has agreed to donate more than two million jabs of the J&J vaccine to its continental counterparts. The donation, which will be facilitated through the African Renaissance Fund is said to be worth R286.6 million. The shots to be donated will be manufactured by Aspen at its Gqeberha plant and are expected to be available in 2022."This donation embodies South Africa's solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the continent with whom we are united in fighting an unprecedented threat to public health and economic prosperity,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa. “The only way in which we can prevent Covid-19 transmission and protect economies and societies on our continent is to successfully immunise a critical mass of the African population with safe and effective vaccines," added Ramaphosa.

The donation also shows the country’s commitment to the African Vaccination Acquisition Trust (AVAT), which Ramaphosa formed while at the helm of the African Union. "As AVAT, we have already received and distributed over 100 million doses of donated vaccines, most of which came as a result of President Ramaphosa's tireless efforts with the richest nations, like the United States, EU and France. In addition, AVAT has entered into the direct purchase of over 500 million doses, mostly produced in South Africa," said the AU’s special envoy Strive Masiyiwa. He also added that the donation will be distributed directly to the continent’s poorest countries as soon as available, as the continent aims to improve its pace of vaccinations and reach goal of vaccinating at least 60% of its people.