The United States has donated 17 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines to the African Union, bringing the total amount of American donations to the continent to 67 million.
The United States has previously donated 50 million doses to AU, which has 55 member states, including the poorest countries in the world. The White House said in a statement Thursday that 17 million new tranches will be delivered to the African Union “in the coming weeks.”
Biden said in a meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday that he “continues a common fight with COVID.” “In the United States, we donated 2.8 million vaccines to Kenya as part of the 50 million vaccines we donated to the African Union. Today, we donated an additional historic one-time donation to AU and an additional 1,700. We are proud to announce that we will provide 10,000 doses of J & J vaccine. “
“We have done our best to step up in terms of not only supporting Kenya, but generally cooperating with the African continent in terms of access to vaccines,” Kenyatta said.
The White House said it chose a single-dose vaccine because of its unique benefits.
“(The) J & J vaccines are in high demand and in short supply in Africa and elsewhere in the world,” said the White House. “Single doses, long shelf life, and a simple cold chain make this vaccine an asset of the global vaccine program.”
The vaccine was not as popular in the United States as the double-dose vaccine.
Any new vaccine will be welcomed after the World Health Organization says Thursday that its assessment found that six of the seven COVID-19 infections were undetected on the African continent. WHO estimates that the number of cases in Africa is 59 million. This is well above the reported number of cases of 8 million.
But health advocates say there’s more to do.
“Speed is important when we fight this pandemic. Africa urgently needs more doses to stop the overwhelming impact of COVID-19. This donation is global. It’s another example of U.S. leadership in response and the first step in the right direction to close the vaccine access gap, “said Sarah Swinehart, Senior Communication Director for North America at ONE Campaign, a group advocating extreme coping. Stated. Poverty and preventable diseases, especially in Africa.
“All wealthy countries must be bolder and more ambitious as they continue to work towards the goal of vaccination of 70% of the world. This is armed with their doses. Will require more dose and more money. “
The White House has countered criticisms of its promotion to allow already vaccinated Americans to receive boosters when many on the planet have not yet received a single dose.
“With this donation, the United States will provide more than half of the J & J vaccines that the United States has purchased for its domestic program,” he said in a statement Thursday.
The announcement was made at the same time Biden first met African leaders in person. Kenyatta met with Biden in the Oval Office to discuss a variety of topics, including democracy and human rights issues, security, accelerating economic growth, and tackling climate change.
US donates 17 million J & J doses to African Union
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