US president, Joe Biden has announced that the United States will make a one-time donation of more than 17 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) vaccine to the African Union.
Biden made the announcement while meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, the White House said.
The meeting with Kenyatta at the White House marked Biden’s first meeting with an African leader since he became president..
Biden said the 17 million doses will be in addition to 50 million the United States has already donated to the African Union. The donation of the vaccine doses will help the African Union’s own regional procurement of J&J via the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust, the White House said.
Kenyatta said the United States “has done its best to step up in terms of not only helping Kenya, but the African continent.”
The 17 million doses of J&J are available for delivery immediately and will be delivered to the African Union in the coming weeks, the White House said.
In the past, the African Union, which has 55 member states and a combined population of over 1.3 billion people, has accused vaccine manufacturers of not giving its members fair access. Of 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered around the world by mid-September, only 2% had been in Africa.