WASHINGTON, October 14 (Hfrance.fr) - President Joe Biden said on Thursday visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta that US to donate one-time over 17 million doses of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) vaccine to the African Uniongroin, the White House said.
"We hope this donation will help AU countries to set up vaccination programs and to fire weapons, "the White House said in a statement.
The meeting with Kenyatta at the White House marked Biden's first as as president with an African leader. Kenya takes over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council this month. The United States and Kenya have a long history of cooperating on economic and security initiatives, including the fight against terrorism.
The White House said that the donation of vaccine doses would help the African Union with J & J 's own regional purchases through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust.
The African Union , which has 55 member states and a combined population of over 1.3 billion people, a accused vaccine manufacturers of not giving members fair access. Of the 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered worldwide as of mid-September, only 2% had been administered in Africa.
The 17 million doses are in addition to the 50 million the United States has already given to the African Union. The 17 million doses of J&J are available for immediate delivery and will be delivered to the Union African countries in the coming weeks, the White House said.
African countries and the World Health Organization have been urging drugmakers for months to set up vaccine factories on the continent to help secure supplies of COVID-19 vaccines that have been sucked up by the wealthiest countries.
Last week, only about 4.5% of Africans had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the continent's top public health official, John Nkengasong. Reporting by Steve Holland; Edited by Heather Timmons and Alistair Bell
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