UNICEF to supply 400m COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria, 54 others




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The United International Children’s Emergency Fund says it has signed an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutical to supply an additional 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine to all 55-member states of the African Union by the end of 2022, increasing the total number of doses to 400 million.

This disclosed in a statement issued by UNICEF on Thursday.

Recall the African Union had in November 2020 established the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the African continent.

UNICEF, AFREXIM Bank, AVAT, African Centre for Disease Control and the World Bank had signed an agreement which would ensure the procurement and delivery of vaccines to African nations.

An agreement signed in March this year had implemented the procurement of 180 million COVID-19 vaccines which will also be delivered by 2022.

In a statement on Thursday, however, UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, lamented the low percentage of vaccination on the continent and promised to work towards promoting vaccine equity.


She said, “UNICEF has signed an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV to supply up to  220 million doses of the J&J single-dose vaccine for  all 55 Member States of the African Union by end of 2022. Some 35 million doses are to be delivered by the end of this year.

“African countries must have affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. Vaccine access has been unequal and unfair, with less than one per cent of the population of the African continent currently vaccinated against COVID-19.

“UNICEF, with its long history of delivering vaccines all around the world, is supporting global COVID-19 vaccinations efforts through AVAT, COVAX, and other channels to maximise supply and access to vaccines.”

The agreement between UNICEF and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV will help implement the advance purchase commitment signed between AVAT and Janssen in March of this year. agreement secured an option to order another 180 million doses, bringing the maximum access up to a total of 400 million doses by the end of 2022.

“African countries must have affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. Vaccine access has been unequal and unfair, with less than one per cent of the population of the African continent currently vaccinated against COVID-19. This cannot continue,” said Fore.

“UNICEF, with its long history of delivering vaccines all around the world, is supporting global COVID-19 vaccinations efforts through AVAT, COVAX, and other channels to maximise supply and access to vaccines,” she added.

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