The shots will be made available over the next year through a medical supplies platform set up by the African Union.
SOUTH Africa said on Friday it would donate roughly 2 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine to other African countries.
The shots will be made available over the next year through a medical supplies platform set up by the African Union (AU).
“This donation embodies South Africa’s solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the continent with whom we are united in fighting an unprecedented threat to public health and economic prosperity,” the South African government said in a joint statement with an AU vaccine task team.
AU Covid-19 envoy Strive Masiyiwa said the 2,030,400 donated doses would be distributed to the lowest-income countries as quickly as possible.
South Africa has fully vaccinated about 38% of adults, more than in many other African countries but well short of the government’s year-end target.
It recently delayed some vaccine deliveries due to oversupply as the pace of inoculations slowed.
New of the donation comes just as the African continent enters its fourth wave of Covid-19, new cases have surged by 83% due to the Omicron variant, according to the World Health Organization, IOL reported on Thursday.
Speaking during a virtual press conference earlier in the week, WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said this is the fastest surge recorded since May last year.
“With the number of new Covid-19 cases hitting record highs as rates double every five days, we cannot afford to drop our guard. We are entering the year-end holiday season of traditional gatherings and travel, with vaccine coverage still disappointingly low,” she said.