AU to spend $10 for each COVID-19 vaccine shot

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AFRICAN countries will be paying up to $10 per vaccine dose to access 270 million COVID-19 shots secured this month by the African Union (AU).

  A draft briefing on the plan prepared by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on the prices manufacturers shows that though the prices are heavily discounted compared to what wealthier nations are paying, experts worry about countries already struggling to manage the economic fallout of the pandemic having to borrow more money to protect their people.

  The companies supplying shots Pfizer Inc, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Serum Institute of India declined to comment.

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  But Heads Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Nkengasong, said the prices were comparable to those available through COVAX.

  “My thinking is that the vaccines market will open up in the coming months, when for example Johnson & Johnson and others land on the market. For now, what is critical is access to the market, secure quantities and start vaccinating,” Nkengasong said.

  It will be recalled that Africa aims to have 60 percent its 1.3 billion people vaccinated against COVID-19 within the next two to three years to achieve some measure of herd immunity.

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