The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) on Tuesday commenced the COVID-19 vaccines pre-order programme for Nigeria and 54 other African Union (AU) member states.
The payments for the vaccines will be facilitated by the Afreximbank which will provide advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to US$2 billion to the manufacturers on behalf of the member states.
Recall that AU chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced that the regional body had secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for Africa through its COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) and the AMSP on behalf of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
AMSP is the single-source platform enabling faster, more transparent and cost-effective access to COVID-19 supplies.
AMSP in a statement said AVATT had secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.
“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 as most of Western countries,” said African Union Special Envoy Strive Masiyiwa.
“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.”
To support vaccination operations, the AMSP has also launched a new category on vaccine accessories which will help Member States to procure products such as ultra-low temperature freezers, personal protection equipment, cotton wool rolls, syringes and needles.
“We are proud to participate in giving direct access to cutting edge COVID-19 vaccines through Africa; This is essential to protect our people and reopen our economies,” she said