BusinessDay

Almost 70 million AstraZeneca vaccines delivered to Africa

Almost 70 million of over 310 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to sub-Saharan Africa through COVAX, a channel for global distribution of vaccines to lower and middle- income countries, the company has said.

The biopharmaceutical firm in a statement marking the anniversary of COVAX deliveries to Africa reiterated its commitment to expanding and accelerating vaccine supply to the African region through 2022 and beyond to help governments reach their vaccination targets.

The first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine began to arrive in countries across the world a year ago through the COVAX initiative as part of the largest global vaccination drive in history.

On February 24, 2021, 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine were received by health authorities in Ghana. Within days, the Ivory Coast received 504,000 doses. Since then, more than 310 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered through COVAX to 130 countries.

An estimated 70 million doses have reached sub-Saharan Africa, making the AstraZeneca vaccine one of the most used COVID-19 vaccines across the continent to date.

Barbara Nel, AstraZeneca’s country president for Africa, said partnerships with the Serum Institute of India (SII), GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organisation were vital to delivering on its commitment to supply Africa with the COVID-19 vaccine at no profit.

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“As part of our commitment to putting broad and equitable access at the heart of our pandemic response, AstraZeneca was proud to be the first global pharmaceutical company to join COVAX in 2020,” Nel said.

“We commend the work being done by governments across the continent to increase immunization coverage and to protect their citizens from severe disease.”

According to global estimates, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has helped prevent 50 million COVID-19 cases and five million hospitalisations, helping to save more than one million lives.

AstraZeneca and its partners have supplied more than 2.6 billion vaccine doses to more than 180 countries across every continent, approximately two-thirds of these doses have gone to low- and lower-middle-income countries.

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and biopharmaceutical areas.

Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

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