US donates 1.2 million doses of Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines to African nations in effort to help developing countries
- Four African countries will receive a combined 1.2 million vaccine doses from the United States
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Guinea and Seychelles will be the beneficiaries
- Donation comes as part of a larger effort to donate a half-billion vaccine doses to lower income nations
- Just over half of Americans are fully vaccinated with under one million getting jabbed every day
Four African countries with low vaccination rates will soon receive 1.2 million donated COVID-19 vaccine doses from the United States.
Vaccines were shipped to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Guinea and Seychelles on Friday, a White House official confirmed to Reuters.
The doses are being donated through COVAX, a program run by the World Health Organization to help create a more equitable distribution of Covid vaccines.
Africa has lagged sharply behind other regions in vaccinating its citizens, with most countries reporting single-digit vaccination rates, compared with much higher double-digit rates in advanced economies such as the United States.
The U.S. will be donating 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to four African nations: Uganda, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Seychelles and Guinea. Pictured: A man in Uganda received a COVID-19 vaccine last month
Uganda, which was shipped received 657,080 doses, and the Congo, 250,320 doses, will each receive the two-shot Moderna vaccine.
Guinea will receive 302,400 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In total, more than 1.2 million vaccine doses are being donated to the four countries.
Data from each of the countries is incomplete, making it hard to know exactly how much of each population has received the jabs.
Each of them, like many other African nations, is among the countries with the lowest vaccination rate, though.
Donating vaccines to lower income countries was made a priority by the Biden Administration earlier in the summer.
In June, during the G7 summit, Biden said the United States would donate 500 million doses of Pfizer‘s shot, made with partner BioNTech, and officials have said they would start shipping out in late August.
The U.S. will ship 200 million of the doses pledged by the end of 2021 and the other 300 million by June 2022, according to Jeff Zients, coordinator of the president’s COVID-19 task force.
‘Everything is on schedule there,’ he said at a White House news briefing earlier this month.
Of those doses, 75 percent will be sent to countries via COVAX and 25 percent will be shared with countries directly.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration sent 80 million doses to other nations after the president promised shots would be donated from the U.S. supply.
Another African nation, Rwanda, received 500,000 doses from the United States earlier this summer as well.
Biden administration health officials have said efforts to quell the coronavirus outbreak worldwide is key to ending the pandemic and preventing future problematic COVID strains, in addition to ongoing efforts to vaccinate people in the United States.
The White House had shifted priorities to sending vaccines abroad after the U.S. vaccination campaign slowed down to fewer than 500,000 doses a day in July, down from 3.5 million per day in April.
Numbers have bounced back, though, with just under a million Americans getting their first shot every day.
Currently in the U.S., 62.2 percent of residents have received at least one shot of a COVID vaccine and 53 percent are fully vaccinated.