COVID VACCINE

Johnson & Johnson partners with AU to distribute 220 million Covid shots

The delivery of the single-shot vaccine will begin in the third quarter of 2021.

In Summary

• South African company Aspen Pharmacare will support the shipment of the vaccine to the 55 member states of the AU.

• The availability of the vaccine candidate is, however, subject to approval from the AU.

A medic holds a vial labelled Vaccine Covid-19.
A medic holds a vial labelled Vaccine Covid-19.
Image: FILE

The fight against the coronavirus is gaining momentum in Africa as more vaccines continue to stream in.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine, manufactured by the American multinational corporation that develops medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods, has partnered with the African Union to ease the distribution of its vaccine within the continent.

Johnson and Johnson has established a global manufacturing and supply network for its Covid vaccine, collaborating with nine partners across four continents, including Aspen Pharmacare in South Africa.

Aspen will support the shipment of the vaccine to the 55 member states of the AU and will also contribute to the global availability of the vaccine.

Janssen pharmaceutical NV, which is one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson has struck a deal with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to make available up to 220 million doses of its single-shot vaccine to AU member states.

The delivery of the vaccine will begin in the third quarter of 2021.

According to the manufacturers, AVAT has the potential to order an additional 180 million doses for a combined total of up to 400 million doses through 2022.

The availability of the vaccine candidate is, however, subject to approval from the AU.

According to Johnson and Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, its support to the COVAX facility will help to accelerate global progress towards ending the virus.

“From the beginning of this pandemic, Johnson and Johnson has recognized that no one is safe until everyone is safe, and we have been committed to equitable, global access to the new Covid vaccines,” Alex said.