African countries to receive first U.S. donated COVID-19 vaccines in days — Officials

African countries acquire close to 60m COVID-19 vaccines

U.S. officials and the Gavi vaccine alliance on Friday said about 50 African
countries will receive 25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the United States.

The officials, in a statement said the first shipments to Burkina Faso, Djibouti and Ethiopia in coming days.

U.S. President, Joe Biden has pledged to share 80 million U.S.-made vaccines to countries around the world to protect the most vulnerable and stem transmission of the coronavirus.

In partnership with the African Union and COVAX, the United States is proud to donate 25 million COVID-19 vaccines to 50 African countries.

Gayle Smith, the U.S. State Department’s coordinator for COVID-19 recovery and global health, said Biden administration is committed to leading the global response to the pandemic by providing safe and effective vaccines to the world.

“Nearly a million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be delivered to Burkina Faso, Djibouti and Ethiopia in coming days.

“The remainder will be shipped in coming weeks,’’ he added.

Africa recorded 43 per cent COVID-19 deaths last week as infections and hospital admissions have risen and countries face shortages of oxygen and intensive-care beds, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

Strive Masiyiwa, African Union Special Envoy, said U.S. donation to 50 countries was appreciated especially at this moment when we are witnessing the third-wave in a number of African countries.

WHO Director-General,Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is Ethiopian, has called for vaccinating at least 10 per cent of the most vulnerable in every country, including health workers and the elderly by September.

The COVAX dose-sharing programme has so far shipped 121 million doses to 136 mostly low and middle income countries.

It is far short of its original targets due since India suspended vaccine exports and it is now run by the Gavi vaccine alliance and the WHO.