World Bank and AU’s AVATT agree to work together to deploy vaccines for 400 million Africans

Worldwide, more than 2.5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to more than 480 million people. However, Africa accounts for just about 2 per cent of the global total of vaccinations.

And so it was good news when the World Bank President, David Malpass and his team met with the African Union’s COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) to discuss how to accelerate vaccine deployment in African countries.

When the World Bank, President, , Mr David Malpass, and his senior management team including Dr Axel van Trotsenburg and Dr Makhtar Diop met with the AVATT team, the Bank agreed to work with AVATT to accelerate financing and vaccine access.

In a press release copied to, the World Bank team and the AVATT team agreed to fast track all administrative procedures in order to ensure vaccines get into countries as early as possible.

Once the vaccines arrive in the Member States, it said, additional efforts will be required to support their deployment. This includes in-country distribution (logistics and storage in line with the cold-chain requirements), securing the required systems, capacities and capabilities for vaccination. It also includes targeted research and campaigns to identify and address vaccine hesitancy through clear and targeted risk communication and community engagement. These activities will require a significant lift by countries; the additional support is going to be critical, the release added.

The AVATT had previously secured up to 400 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine with the support of the African Export-Import Bank, in a procurement agreement signed on March 28, 2021.

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