The African Union’s vaccine task team said on Friday that Russia had offered it 300 million doses of its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine and that the offer included a financing package for countries wanting to secure the shots.
It said in a statement that the Sputnik V vaccine would be available for a period of 12 months starting May 2021.
Only a handful of countries in Africa have started to roll out vaccination programs, lagging some wealthier nations that are well into their immunization campaigns.
“We are grateful to receive the Sputnik V vaccines from the Russian Federation and tremendously proud to be able to offer them … for our AU Member States,” John Nkengasong, director of the AU’s disease control body, was quoted as saying in the statement.
“Bilateral and private sector partnerships such as these are critical in our efforts to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end,” Nkengasong added.
The AU previously said it had secured 270 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson for delivery this year.
On Friday, the vaccine team said all 270 million doses had been “taken up by the first allocation phase deadline”.