The African Union has a commitment of $5 billion promised by the World Bank and other donors, out of the $12 billion that African countries need to access the coming Covid-19 vaccine.
This revelation was made at a teleconference meeting convened Tuesday evening following an announcement by global pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTec that their vaccine candidate was showing 90 per cent efficacy.
The firms are now pushing for emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.
The meeting convened by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa was meant to discuss Africa’s strategy for financing Covid-19 vaccines and to assess options for acquisitions of vaccines in Africa.
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said tests involving more than 40,000 people had provided results that were a critical milestone in the search for a vaccine.
An effective vaccine is seen as the best hope to break the cycle of deadly virus surges followed by severe restrictions across much of the world since Covid-19 first emerged in China late last year.