AU secures 300 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine

AU secures 300 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine

The African Union (AU) has secured 300 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine and that the offer included a financing package for countries wanting to secure the shots.

The doses will be availed to the interested parties for 12 months beginning May this year.

Only a handful of countries in Africa have started to roll out vaccination programs, lagging some wealthier nations that are well into their immunization campaigns.

“We are grateful to receive the Sputnik V vaccines from the Russian Federation and tremendously proud to be able to offer them … for our AU Member States,” John Nkengasong, director of the AU’s disease control body, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Bilateral and private sector partnerships such as these are critical in our efforts to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end,” Nkengasong added.

The AU previously said it had secured 270 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson for delivery this year.

Kenya is expected to receive 11 million additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the AU, out of the 270 million that were first secured.

This brings the total of expected doses for the country to 47 million.

The government has made a request to Gavi for 24 million doses while it plans to purchase 12 million from other sources. Should the vaccines arrive in the country in time, the jabs will be enough to inoculate half of the country’s population by the end of the year.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the AU chairman, Wednesday announced that from the provisional 270 million doses, at least 50 million will be available between April and June 2021.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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