Covid-19: African countries to start vaccine pre-orders

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 21 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) has begun its Covid-19 vaccines pre-order programme for all African Union member states.

The pre-order, being done on behalf of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will be facilitated by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) which will advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to $2 billion to manufacturers on behalf of the member states.

Earlier, AU chair and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that it has secured a provisional 270 million vaccine doses for Africa through its African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).

While AVATT has secured the doses from Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca, the platform will enable faster, more transparent and cost-effective access to the supplies.

This will offer equitable access to the doses for 55 AU member countries.

“These are historical times. For the first time in history, Africa has secured access to millions of vaccine doses in the middle of a pandemic as most Western countries have,” said AU Special Envoy Strive Masiyiwa.

“There is still a huge shortage of vaccine doses and that is why this continental collaboration has designed a fair allocation coupled with timely and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines across the continent.”

To support vaccination operations, AMSP has also launched a new category on vaccine accessories, which will help its members procure products such as ultra-low temperature freezers, personal protection equipment, cotton wool rolls, syringes and needles.

“The biggest challenges to vaccine access in Africa have been financing and logistics but we are glad that this gap is being filled by the Afreximbank financing facility,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.

“The critical decision now is how to get started so that there are no disruptions. This is where AMSP will play a very big role.”

The member states can now start ordering the vaccines through the platform.

“From today onwards, AU member states will be able to place online pre-orders for vaccine allocation through the platform. We are proud to participate in giving direct access to cutting edge vaccines through Africa. This is essential to protecting our people and re-opening our economies,” added Dr Nkengasong.

Afreximbank will expand its support to African economies in their bid to contain the pandemic.

“Our vaccine financing facility builds on the success of our Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) to open access to vaccines to African states, based on a whole-of-Africa approach favoured by the AU”, said Prof Benedict Oramah, President and chair of the bank’s board of directors.

“By providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to $2 billion to candidate vaccine manufacturers, the bank will ensure African states are able to rapidly acquire the vaccines, at competitive prices and in a timely manner, thereby contributing to saving lives and livelihoods,” he added. — NNN-AGENCIES

Source: NAM News Network

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