The African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) has acquired a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for the continent, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed on Thursday.Ramaphosa, who is AU chairperson, formed the AVATT last August for the sole purpose of acquiring the vaccines as part of the continent’s fight against the pandemic whose first patient was identified in Egypt in February 2020.
According to the South African president, at least 50 million of the 270 million doses would be available between April and June 2021.
Ramaphosa said he set up the 10-member AVATT to ensure that the continent secured sufficient vaccine doses to achieve herd immunity for Africa.
“There is a long road ahead. But, as Africa, we are now seeing progress in our shared effort to defeat this disease,” he said.
He added: “I wish to commend the members of the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, Afreximbank, Africa Centres for Disease Control and all those who have been working tirelessly to secure these vaccines for the people of Africa.”