Nigeria, other African nations to get 400 mln Covid-19 vaccines from J&J
Nigeria and 54 other member nations of the African Union (AU) are expected to get 400 million doses of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 before the end of 2022, according to a statement by the US drugmakers on Monday
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to supply 220 million vaccines to the AU by the start of the third quarter of 2021 and ramping up to 400 million through the end of 2022.
The pact follows agreements with AstraZeneca Plc, Pfizer Inc. and the makers of Russia’s Sputnik v vaccine.
“No one is safe until everyone is safe, and we have been committed to equitable, global access to new Covid-19 vaccines,” J&J Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky said in the statement on Monday.
The continent is currently trailing most of the world in the race to inoculate against the disease.
The U.S. drugmaker plans to supply doses of its single-shot candidate to the AU’s 55 member nations will boost the effort to contain the pandemic in the continent.
While the J&J vaccine has started to receive approval in some countries around the world, the delivery commitment to the AU will depend on regulatory backing from member nations.
The dose’s requirement for just a single shot is seen as beneficial for Africa, where distribution is likely to present a major challenge.
South Africa has already started administering the vaccine to health workers as part of a medical trial, and J&J agreed last year that Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. can manufacture doses in the country.
J&J in December signed a separate agreement to supply the global program known as Covax with as many as 500 million doses of its shot.
The company said at the time that it expected to provide 100 million doses of its vaccine in 2021 as part of the initial accord with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, one of the partners in Covax.
The COVAX program was formed to ensure fair access to vaccines by perceived low- and middle-income countries, but it has been hampered by the severely limited global supply of doses and logistical problems.
Covax plans for the distribution of more than 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine and 1.2 million of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccines around the world.