UNICEF signs agreement to supply of 220mn Covid vaccine doses to Africa

The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), has announced the signing of an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutical NV to supply 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine against Covid-19 for all 55 member states of the African Union (AU) by the end of 2022.

“Some 35 million doses are to be delivered by the end of 2021”, UNICEF said. The agreement between UNICEF and Janssen will help implement the Advance Purchase Commitment signed between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and Janssen in March 2021. That agreement secured an option to order another 180 million doses, bringing the maximum access up to a total of 400 million doses by the end of 2022, said the UN agency.

The AU established AVAT in November 2020 to deliver Covid-19 vaccines to the African continent, with a goal of vaccinating 60 per cent of its population. UNICEF will procure and deliver Covid-19 vaccines on behalf of the AVAT initiative. Other partners include the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Bank.

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