African countries receive over 29.1M COVID-19 vaccine doses

A shipment of COVID-19 vaccines distributed by the COVAX Facility arrives in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Friday Feb. 25, 2021. Ivory Coast is the second country in the world after Ghana to receive vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with a delivery of 504,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India. (AP Photo/ Diomande Ble Blonde)
FILE PHOTO: A shipment of COVID-19 vaccines distributed by the COVAX Facility arrives in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. (AP Photo/ Diomande Ble Blonde)

African countries have received over 29.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses both from the COVAX facility and through bilateral agreements outside COVAX, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said recently.

Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU), said as of Thursday, a total of over 29.1 million vaccine doses have been acquired by African countries, with approximately 10.3 million doses having been administered.

According to the agency, the majority of those being vaccinated include healthcare workers, people with comorbidity, and the elderly aged 50 and above.

The agency also announced an agreement between the AU’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team and Johnson & Johnson, which was signed earlier this week.

According to the agreement, Johnson & Johnson will provide AU members with access to 220 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with an option to purchase an additional 180 million doses. The vaccine supplies will be produced at Aspen Biopharama plant in South Africa.

The latest figures from Africa CDC showed that as of Friday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has reached 4,239,639, and the death toll from the pandemic stood at 113,142, while 3,794,269 patients have recovered.