JOHANNESBURG, (The Southern African Times) The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) on Tuesday said they have commenced COVID-19 vaccine pre-orders for 55 African Union (AU) member states.
“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.”
This followed the announcement by AU chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa that they have secured 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for African countries.
AMSP has also launched a new category on vaccine accessories which will help countries to obtain products such as ultra-low temperature freezers, personal protection equipment, cotton wool rolls, syringes and needles.
AMSP said the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) will provide advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to 2 billion U.S. dollars to the manufacturers on behalf of African countries.
Benedict Oramah, president and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Afreximbank, said they are proud to expand its support to African economies to contain the pandemic.
“By providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to 2 billion U.S. dollars 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.”
The AMSP is a not-for-profit initiative launched by the AU as an immediate, integrated and practical response that enables the supply of COVID-19-related critical medical equipment in Africa.