Following the announcement by African Union (AU) chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa on January 14 that the AU has secured a provisional 270-million Covid-19 vaccine doses for Africa through its Covid-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (Avatt), the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) has, on behalf of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), started the Covid-19 vaccines pre-order programme for all AU member States.
Trade finance institution African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) will facilitate payments by providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to $2-billion to the manufacturers on behalf of the member States.
While Avatt has secured a provisional 270-million Covid-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, AMSP – the single-source platform enabling faster, more transparent and cost-effective access to Covid-19 supplies – has opened pre-orders, offering an equitable access to Covid-19 vaccine doses for member States, AMSP says.
“These are historical times. For the first time in history, Africa has secured access to millions of vaccine doses in the middle of a pandemic. There is still a huge shortage of vaccine doses and that is why this continental collaboration has designed a fair allocation coupled with timely and equitable access of Covid-19 vaccines across the continent,” AU Special Envoy Strive Masiyiwa says.
“Afreximbank is proud to expand its support to African economies in their bid to contain the pandemic. Our vaccine financing facility builds on the success of our Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility to open access to Covid-19 vaccines to African States based on a whole-of-Africa approach favoured by the AU.
"By providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to $2-billion to candidate vaccine manufacturers, Afreximbank will ensure that African States are able to rapidly access Covid-19 vaccines at competitive prices and in a timely manner, thereby, contributing to saving lives and livelihoods,” says Afreximbank chairperson and president Professor Benedict Oramah.
To support vaccination operations, AMSP has also launched a new category of vaccine accessories which will help member States procure products such as ultralow-temperature freezers, personal protective equipment, cotton wool rolls, syringes and needles.
AU member States are now able to start placing online pre-orders for their vaccine allocation through AMSP.