Russia donates 300m Sputnik V vaccine doses to Africa

Russia has made available 300 million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to African countries, the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said on Friday.

Russia has proposed a financing package to the AU-led Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), with the additional doses enabling Africa to attain its target immunisation of 60 per cent of the continent’s population, the AU said in a statement.

AVATT has also secured 270 million doses from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

Sputnik V vaccines will be available from May, said Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong.

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The announcement comes a day after the centre said the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the African continent will begin next week, starting with the AstraZeneca vaccine in around 20 countries.

So far, only seven countries on the continent have started COVID-19 vaccination, with Zimbabwe and Senegal expected to launch their immunisation campaigns shortly.

According to the latest centre figures, with almost 3.8 million registered cases, Africa represents 3.5 per cent of global infections and the death rate is just approaching the 100,000 mark.