UNICEF to Provide African Union With 220 Million Doses of J&J COVID-19 Vaccine
The agreement between UNICEF and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV will help implement the Advance Purchase Commitment (APC) signed between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and Janssen in March this year.
- Janssen Pharmaceutica NV will supply up to 220 million doses of the J&J single-dose vaccine for all 55 member states of the African Union by the end of 2022.
- The agreement secured an option to order an additional 180 million cans, increasing the maximum access to a total of 400 million cans by the end of 2022.
- Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine received an emergency list from the WHO on March 12 and relies on a global supply network to manufacture the vaccine.
UNICEF has signed an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV to supply up to 220 million doses of the J&J single-dose vaccine for all 55 member states of the African Union (AU) by the end of 2022, later this year.
The agreement between UNICEF and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV will help implement the Advance Purchase Commitment (APC) signed between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and Janssen in March this year. This agreement secured an option to order an additional 180 million cans, increasing the maximum access to a total of 400 million cans by the end of 2022.
The African Union founded AVAT in November 2020 to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the African continent with the goal of vaccinating 60 percent of the population of every AU country. As part of the plan, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and AVAT signed a cooperation agreement on behalf of the AU to develop a framework for an advance procurement obligation (APC) to support member states’ access to COVID-19 vaccines. UNICEF will source and deliver COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the AVAT initiative. Further partners are the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the World Bank. While several vaccines are expected to be part of the initiative’s portfolio, Janssen’s single-dose vaccine is the first to be included.
“African countries need to have affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. Access to vaccines has been unequal and unfair, as less than 1 percent of the African continent’s population is currently vaccinated against COVID-19. It cannot go on like this, ”said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “With years of experience in delivering vaccines around the world, UNICEF supports global COVID-19 vaccination efforts through AVAT, COVAX and other channels to maximize vaccine supply and access.”
Based on decades of experience as the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, as is the case every year with routine vaccinations, UNICEF acts as a procurement and logistics agency on behalf of the AVAT partnership. UNICEF stands ready to facilitate the procurement, transport and delivery of vaccines as soon as they are available and the AU member states are ready to receive them. With its extensive capacity and decades of experience managing the cargo, insurance and transportation of vaccines that require strict compliance with cold chain requirements, UNICEF will work with the vaccine industry, freight forwarders and transportation companies to deliver the doses to the communities that need them .