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The African Union (AU) plans to vaccinate up to 35 percent of the continent's population by December.
Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Director John Nkengasong warned on Thursday that India's decision to delay the AstraZeneca vaccine delivery would be "catastrophic" for vaccination campaigns in the continent.
"If the delay continues, I hope it’s a delay and not a ban; that would be catastrophic for meeting our vaccination schedule," the official said during a press conference from Ethiopia. This, as the African Union (AU) plans to vaccinate up to 35 percent of the continent's population by December.
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The AU relies mainly on COVAX for such plans, but the delay jeopardizes all operations. India announced that at least 90 million AstraZeneca doses allocated to COVAX would be delayed through the end of April as the country battles to tackle a surge of infections.
Nonetheless, on Monday, the AU announced an agreement to acquire the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The authorities expect that 220 million doses will be delivered by the third quarter of 2020. According to Nkengasong, the deal is "a game-changer."
#FromTheSouth News Bits | The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Africa Group of Countries made history in the United Nations today with the establishment of a new geopolitical grouping called AfCAR. pic.twitter.com/rKU1kZ1Ztu