Nairobi, Kenya
AP

South Africa’s President says a task team under the African Union has secured 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the African continent, the largest such deal so far for the region. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa, the current AU chair, says the doses will come from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca via the Serum Institute of India. 

Ramaphosa says at least 50 million of the doses will be available “for the crucial period of April to June” as coronavirus infections surge for a second time in parts of Africa, and all doses will be made available this year. 

The 270 million doses are being secured independent of the global COVAX facility aimed at distributing vaccines to lower-income countries. Officials are concerned that the doses secured via COVAX will cover just 20 per cent of Africa’s population, while African officials aim to cover 60 per cent as soon as possible. 

Africa recently surpassed three million confirmed virus cases.