Covid-19 : The African Union orders 670 million doses of vaccine

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The African Union (AU) has secured an additional 400 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a health official said on Thursday, with the aim of vaccinating 60% of the continent's population over three years, according to Reuters.

John Nkengasong, director of the AU’s disease control and prevention body, told an online briefing that in addition to the 270 million doses previously secured, the African Union will receive 400 million shots from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The AstraZeneca vaccine is the cheapest option and one of the best suited to African health systems. It does not require storage at ultra-low temperatures like the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, the sams ource explained.

Regardless of the AU's efforts, Africa is expected to receive around 600 million doses of vaccine this year through the COVAX program co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Health officials hope to vaccinate around 30-35% of Africans this year, rising to 60% within two to three years. The AU said the vaccines ordered will be distributed fairly.

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