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UNICEF orders 220 million COVID-19 vaccines for Nigeria, 54 others

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund says it has signed an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV to supply an additional 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single dose COVID-19 vaccine to all 55-member states of the African Union by the end of 2022, increasing the total number of doses to 400 million.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by UNICEF on Thursday.

The African Union had in November 2020 established the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the continent.

UNICEF, AFREXIM Bank, AVAT, the African Centre for Disease Control and the World Bank had signed an agreement for the procurement and delivery of vaccines to African nations.

The agreement signed in March this year had implemented the procurement of 180 million COVID-19 vaccines, which will also be delivered by 2022.

In a statement on Thursday, however, UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, lamented the low percentage of vaccination on the continent and promised to work towards promoting vaccine equity.

She said, “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 by the end of 2022.  Some 35 million doses are to be delivered by the end of this year.

“African countries must have affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. Vaccine access has been unequal and unfair, with less than one per cent of the population of the African continent currently vaccinated against COVID-19.

“UNICEF, with its long history of delivering vaccines all around the world, is supporting global COVID-19 vaccinations efforts through AVAT, COVAX and other channels to maximise supply and access to vaccines.”the sources of their water and handle their fruits with care to avoid being victims.

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