The African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) is ready to raise up to $5 billion to purchase Covid-19 vaccines for African countries, according to the Head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention (CDC), John Nkengasong.
He was reported by Reuters yesterday as saying that Africa needs to be pro-active in the race to secure vaccines for the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 41 million people globally.
COVAX, a global COVID- 19 vaccine allocation plan co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), will only be able to secure shots for less than 10 per cent of the continent’s population of 1.29 billion, he said.
COVAX, designed to lower prices and discourage national governments from hoarding COVID-19vaccines, aimstohelp buyandfairlydistributeatleast two billion doses of approved vaccinesbytheendof 2021. “We are discussing with Afreximbank, and they… say look, we are ready to raise up to about $5 billion to support additional doses of vaccines,” Nkengasong said.
He added the money could be poured into COVAX or spent to negotiate directly with manufacturers.
The WHO said last month it wants to secure an initial 230 million doses of any COVID- 19 vaccine for Africa, but Nkengasong warned that, accounting for two shots per person and leakages in distribution, this would only cover 8-9 per crnt of Africa’s population, far short of the 40-60 per cent needed for immunity.