The Head of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong says the goal is to vaccinate 60% of Africans on the continent by the end of 2022.

He called on governments to prepare for mass vaccination campaigns against COVID-19.

The call comes as the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, which was established by African Union Chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa, secured a provisional amount of 270 million coronavirus vaccine doses for African countries.

At least 50 million are expected to be made available between April and June this year.

Nkengasong says, “We have to start with the major cities and create vaccination sites, when we do that we can store the vaccines and use them and move people towards the vaccination points rather than move vaccines towards people. We have to engage in the large scale training of healthcare workers on how to deliver the vaccines. The third is the supplies, the needles that will be required, the cottons the alcohol and lastly a good information system to record people. Most of these vaccines they are double dose vaccines that will require that we get a very good system in place to track people and bring them back.”

In the video below, SABC’s Noma Bolani reports on Africa’s vaccination programme:

Collaboration

Ramaphosa says from the beginning of pandemic, their focus as a continent has been on collaboration and collective effort.

“We have held steadfastly to the principle that no country should be left behind. With this in mind, we have not only campaigned vigorously for changes through all the available international forums, but we have taken the additional step to independently secure vaccines using our own limited resources as member states.”

He says, “As a result of our own efforts we have so far secured a commitment of a provisional amount of 270 million vaccines from three major suppliers: Pfizer, AstraZeneca (through Serum Institute of India) and Johnson & Johnson.”

Below is President Ramaphosa’s statement on the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team securing a coronavirus vaccine doses for African countries:

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