SA to donate more than 2 million vaccines to other African countries

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President Cyril Ramaphosa visiting the Aspen Pharma manufacturing plant in Gqeberha where the vaccine that will be available to African countries will be produced.
President Cyril Ramaphosa visiting the Aspen Pharma manufacturing plant in Gqeberha where the vaccine that will be available to African countries will be produced.
File photo: Lulama Zenzile
  • South Africa has agreed to donate about two million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to African countries.
  • The donation is valued at R288.6 million.
  • Through the African Renaissance Fund, South Africa signed an agreement with the African Vaccination Acquisition Trust to make the donation.

The South African government has agreed to donate more than two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to other African countries.

The vaccines are valued at R288.6 million.

Through the African Renaissance Fund (ARF), South Africa signed an agreement with the African Vaccination Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to donate the vaccines.

They will be produced at the Aspen Pharma manufacturing plant in Gqeberha and will be available to African countries through the African Medical Suppliers Platform (AMSP) over the next year.

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"This donation embodies South Africa's solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the continent with whom we are united in fighting an unprecedented threat to public health and economic prosperity. The only way in which we can prevent Covid-19 transmission and protect economies and societies on our continent is to successfully immunise a critical mass of the African population with safe and effective vaccines," President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa formed the AVAT during his tenure as African Union chairperson, following the establishment of the African Vaccination Acquisition Task Team.

"The main purpose of the task team is to secure the necessary vaccines and financing resources for achieving Africa's Covid-19 vaccination strategy, which [has a target of] vaccinating a minimum of 60 percent of the continent's population," the Presidency said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, African Union special envoy Strive Masiyiwa said the donation would be distributed directly to the lowest-income member states as quickly as possible.

"As AVAT, we have already received and distributed over 100 million doses of donated vaccines, most of which came as a result of President Ramaphosa's tireless efforts with the richest nations, like the United States, EU and France. In addition, AVAT has entered into the direct purchase of over 500 million doses, mostly produced in South Africa," Masiyiwa said.


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