The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it will provide 600 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to African countries in 2021.
The WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti disclosed this at a media briefing on Thursday.
Moeti, in her address, said the WHO regional office for Africa, through the COVAX facility, would also work with organisations such as the African Union (AU) towards increasing it to around 900 million doses before the end of 2021.
COVAX is a partnership initiated by GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations), the coalition for epidemic preparedness innovations (CEPI) and the WHO, and is focused on accelerating the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines; it will also guarantee fair and equitable access to countries across the world.
Moeti said, ” The COVAX facility, which is coordinated by GAVI, WHO and CEPI, aims to provide around 600 million doses for Africa in 2021, and we’re also also looking at a total of 900 million doses before the end of year 2021.
“We expect the first doses to arrive by the end of March with large rollout by June.
“However, COVAX facility can only cover 20 percent of Africa’s population, so it is really wonderful to see that the African Union’s efforts to secure provisional 270 million doses by the end of 2021 are achieving success.
” Together, we will deliver 900 million doses this year and we know more is still needed.”
According to her, COVID-19 cases in Africa have exceeded three million, while a significant increase has been recorded in the daily count across the continent.