According to report reaching oyogist.com, Johnson & Johnson will supply the African Union (AU) with up to 400 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine beginning in the third quarter, the drugmaker said on Monday, as the continent grapples with vaccinating 60 per cent of its people.
Coronavirus has killed almost 121,000 people across Africa and infected 4.18 million.
J&J unit Janssen Pharmaceutica NV has entered into a deal with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to deliver 220 million doses of its single-dose shot.
AVAT could order an additional 180 million doses through 2022. The deal follows months of negotiations with the AU, which announced a provisional agreement in January to buy 270 million doses of vaccines from J&J, AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech.
J&J’s vaccine came to the market much later than those of AstraZeneca and Pfizer but has recently gained widespread acceptance globally, especially in Africa.
“J&J requires just a single dose, it makes it a very good programmatically to rollout,” said John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
He said the price of the J&J’s dose is likely to be $10.
In February, South Africa put use of AstraZeneca’s shot on hold after data showed it gave minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the country’s dominant variant.
Several countries in Europe have suspended using AstraZeneca’s vaccine as they investigate a small number of reports of rare blood clotting in people who got the vaccine. Global regulators have said the shot is safe and effective.