African countries to pay between $3 and $10 per vaccine dose

African countries will pay between $3 and $10 per vaccine dose to access 270 million Covid-19 shots secured this month by the African Union (AU), according to a draft briefing on the plan prepared by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and provided to Reuters.

The document, which was shared with Reuters by two sources, provides the first public details on the prices manufacturers are offering African nations outside of the COVAX global vaccine sharing scheme led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the GAVI vaccine alliance.

Although the prices are heavily discounted compared to what wealthier nations are paying, some experts worry about countries already struggling to manage the economic fallout of the pandemic having to borrow more money to protect their people.

“No country should have to take on debt to pay for the vaccine,” said Tim Jones, head of policy at the Jubilee Debt Campaign, a British charity working to end poverty.

John Nkengasong, who heads the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the prices were comparable to those available through COVAX.

“My thinking is that the vaccines market will open up in the coming months, when for example Johnson & Johnson and others land on the market,” Nkengasong told Reuters.

“For now, what is critical is access to the market, secure quantities and start vaccinating.”

Africa aims to have 60% of its 1.3 billion people vaccinated against Covid-19 within the next two to three years to achieve some measure of herd immunity. 

Reuters

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