Moderna has said it will make up to 110 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine available to African countries.
The announcement said Moderna is prepared to deliver the first 15 million doses by the end of this year, with 35 million in the first quarter of 2022 and up to 60 million in the second quarter.
It says “all doses are offered at Moderna’s lowest tiered price.”
“It is a great day for us,” the African Union special envoy on COVID-19, Strive Masiyiwa, told reporters, after African nations faced months of frustration over rich countries’ vaccine hoarding and delayed deliveries of doses.
He thanked the United States for essentially allowing African nations to go to the head of the line to buy the Moderna doses.
Africa and its 1.3 billion people remain the least-vaccinated region of the world against COVID-19, with just over 5% fully vaccinated.
Moderna said this agreement is separate from its deal with the global COVAX project to supply up to 500 million doses from late this year through 2022. COVAX aims to supply doses to low- and middle-income countries.
And yet with all these vaccines, the African continent will not hit the mark of fully vaccinating 10% of its population by the end of this year, said Vera Songwe, executive secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa.
Less than 9% of the population in Africa has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, said Seth Berkley of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, calling it “unacceptable.”
He said COVAX by the end of this year expects to have 470 million doses available for Africa and exceed 900 million doses by the end of March. He said 127 million doses have been delivered so far.