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Nigeria, other African nations to get 400 million COVID-19 vaccines

Nigeria and other African nations will get 400 million COVID-19 vaccines from the World Bank in partnership with the African Union’s Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).

In a joint statement made available to Peoples Gazette, an agreement was signed on 28 March 2021 to procure 400 million doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines by AVATT with the support of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

“The President of the World Bank, Mr David Malpass, and his senior management team comprised of Dr Axel van Trotsenburg and Dr Makhtar Diop met with the African Union’s COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) to discuss modalities for a partnership that will accelerate vaccine deployment to Africa,” the statement explained.

According to Afreximbank’s president Benedict Oramah, the bank has put down $2 billion to facilitate the supply of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

“In providing a $2 billion guarantee on behalf of the African Union member states, we were able to help put Africa in a strong negotiating position with producers as we negotiated vaccine procurement. It was obvious to us at AVATT that no deal will have been possible without a strong financial backing,” Mr Oramah said. 

The Director of the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, added that the Johnson and Johnson doses were critical steps towards vaccinating 60 per cent of Africans, which will support the lives of Africans and the growth of their economies.

He said, “The Johnson and Johnson doses are a critical step towards the continental goal of vaccinating at least 60 per cent of Africans. Reaching this target is a prerequisite to saving African lives and livelihoods, safely reopening our economies and resuming our economic development agenda.” 

Over 41 countries are at different stages of finalising the purchase of vaccines for their citizens while the vaccination process is growing.

Nigeria and others will be allocated the vaccines according to the size of their populations for purchase through a pooled procurement mechanism. 

The World Bank team and the AVATT team agreed to fast-track all administrative procedures and ensure vaccines get into countries as early as possible.