AstraZeneca marks anniversary of first COVAX vaccine deliveries to Africa

AstraZeneca, global, science-led biopharmaceutical company says it is committed to expanding and accelerating vaccine supply to the African region through 2022 and beyond to help governments reach their vaccination targets

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

On February 24, 2021, 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 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 had reached sub-Saharan Africa, making the AstraZeneca vaccine one of the most used COVID-19 vaccine across the continent to date.

Barbara Nel, Country President for Africa, AstraZeneca in a statement to mark the milestone said: “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.”

“Our strong partnerships with the Serum Institute of India (SII), GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organisation are vital to deliver on our commitment to supply Africa with the COVID-19 vaccine at no profit. We commend the work being done by governments across the continent to increase immunisation coverage and to protect their citizens from severe disease, “she said.

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

AstraZeneca and its partners have released for supply 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.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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