Africa secures 400 million more COVID vaccine doses

The Africa Centre for Disease Control says the African Union (AU) has secured an additional 400 million doses of coronavirus vaccines for its members. This comes on top of another 270 million announced earlier.

A medical syringe and a vial in front of the COVAX word are seen in this creative illustrative photo. More than one hundred fifty COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines are in development across the world, several of which have the third phase of clinical trials, as media reported. /Getty Images

It is estimated that Africa will need 1.5 billion vaccine doses to vaccinate 60% of its inhabitants.

Most countries on the continent have not started vaccinating people, lacking the funds to purchase the drugs.

South Africa’s leading coronavirus expert Salim Abdool Karim recently urged the world’s wealthier nations not to hoard vaccine supplies, describing the behavior as “unconscionable” and warning that “no-one is safe until everyone is safe”.

The AU said earlier this month that 50 million vaccines would be available between April and June. The others will come later this year and next year.

(With input from agencies)