Africa is to benefit from 110 doses of Moderna covid 19 vaccine. This has been tagged as a breakthrough on the world's least vaccinated continent.
During the announcement on Tuesday, Moderna said it is prepared to deliver the first 15 million doses by the end of this year, with 35 million in the first quarter of 2022 and up to 60 million in the second quarter. It says "all doses are offered at Moderna's lowest tiered price."
the African Union special envoy on COVID-19, Strive Masiyiwa, said "It is a great day for us," after African nations faced months of frustration over rich countries' vaccine hoarding and delayed deliveries of doses. He acknowledged the United States for essentially allowing African nations to go to the head of the line to buy the Moderna doses.
It is however not clear which African countries will be the first beneficiaries.
He emphasized that African countries will first purchase 50 million Moderna vaccines with the option for 20 million a month in April, May, and June, depending on the company's performance in December. "We are in a position to secure more vaccines from Moderna but want to see more concrete details emerging about their production in Africa," he said.
Masiyiwa added, If this deal becomes fully successful, African nations will be able to reach its target of vaccinating 450 million people by September 2022, That's half of the target of vaccinating 70 percent of the continent's population, or 900 million people. African nations earlier struck a deal with Johnson & Johnson for up to 400 million doses.
Moderna called this "the first step in our long-term partnership with the African Union," which has been outspoken about the need for many more COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Currently, a little over 5 percent out of its 1.3 billion Africans are fully vaccinated.
Moderna said this agreement is separate from its deal with the global COVAX project to supply up to 500 million doses from late this year through 2022. COVAX aims to supply doses to low- and middle-income countries.
Less than 9 percent of the population in Africa has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This is according to said Seth Berkley of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, calling it "unacceptable."