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African Union acquires 300m doses of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine

BY: Kweku Zurek
African Union acquires 300m doses of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine
African Union acquires 300m doses of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine

The African Union (AU) has acquired 300 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.

The vaccines will be available for 12 months starting in May 2021, the AU said in a statement on Friday.

The statement added that the vaccines which were offered to the AU by the Russian Federation also includes a financing package for any member states which wish to buy it.

“African Union member states that wish to secure funding should approach the African Export-Import Bank through their central banks, as has been the case with the other vaccines that have been on offer,” the statement said.

The AU hopes that the Russian vaccines which adds to the 270 million which it has already arranged to get from Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and AstraZeneca will help Africa to attain a target immunization of 60%.

“We are grateful to receive the Sputnik V vaccines from the Russian Federation and tremendously proud to be able to offer them on the AMSP for our AU Member States,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

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

The continent has more than 3.79 million cases of Covid-19 and 100,294 deaths, according to the Africa CDC.