While at least 29 countries have begun inoculating their populations against the coronavirus, African countries are yet to conclude any supply agreements with pharmaceutical companies.
This has brought back the question
of what options are available to African countries.
What are Africa’s options?
As per Bloomberg
, “Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have offered to supply Africa with 50 million Covid-19 vaccines for health workers between March and the end of this year.
Moderna Inc. has no supplies for Africa, while AstraZeneca Plc has no shots for the continent in 2021 and has directed the African Union to negotiate with the Serum Institute of India Ltd.
Discussions are taking place with Johnson & Johnson, which is conducting a trial in South Africa and plans to make 300 million doses a year”
If you’re wondering whether there’s any homegrown vaccine, researchers in Nigeria developed
a DNA-based vaccine against COVID-19 specifically for Africa but can’t take it to the next phase due to lack of funds.
African countries can create a special fund to conclude the creation of an African based vaccine. Although, the cost of moving a vaccine from research to product registration ($200 million to $500 million) is intimidating.
African countries can simply wait until it’s their turn to access existing vaccines.
Question on our mind
: Why weren’t African countries proactive in securing Vaccines? What was the plan all along?