JOHNSON & Johnson (J&J) will supply up to 220 million doses of its single-shot Covid-19 vaccine to African Union’s 55 member states from the third quarter of 2021, the drugmaker said on Monday.
J&J, through its Janssen Pharmaceutica unit, entered into a deal with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (Avat), which could order an additional 180-million doses, for a combined total of up to 400 million doses through 2022.
‘We need to immunise at least 60 percent of our population in order to get rid of the virus from our continent. The J&J agreement enables us to move towards achieving this target,’ said John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Earlier in March, Europe approved J&J single dose Covid-19 vaccine. The US, Canada and Bahrain have also approved the shot.
Late in 2020, J&J said it and the Gavi vaccine alliance expected to enter into a deal that would provide up to 500-million doses of the company’s vaccine to Covax, the programme backed by the World Health Organisation, through 2022.
Johnson & Johnson has established a global manufacturing and supply network for its Covid-19 vaccine, collaborating with nine partners across four continents, including Aspen Pharmacare in SA.