The Mastercard Foundation and Africa CDC announced that 15.2 million vaccines purchased under the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative are currently being distributed across Africa
Through Saving Lives and Livelihoods, the Mastercard Foundation is purchasing vaccines for more than 65 million people. This is the first tranche of vaccines to be delivered under the initiative. The vaccines will be distributed within countries by UNICEF.
Launched in June 2021, Saving Lives and Livelihoods is now a US$1.5bn partnership that aims to enable vaccination for millions of people, develop a workforce for vaccine manufacturing, and strengthen the Africa CDC’s capacity to oversee a historic vaccination campaign and effectively respond to future outbreaks.
“Timely delivery of these vaccines underscores the effectiveness of the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust. Working with the Africa CDC and multiple organisations, the Mastercard Foundation will support the roll out of vaccinations to millions across the continent. More remains to be done to urgently increase vaccination rates. We call on governments, funders, civil society and others to step forward to save lives and livelihoods in Africa,” said Reeta Roy, president and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation.
Vaccines purchased under Saving Lives and Livelihoods build on an agreement negotiated by the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) earlier this year for the purchase of 400 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines as well as a more recent agreement for the purchase of 50 million Moderna vaccines. The Mastercard Foundation will fund the purchase of 57 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines and is seeking to purchase approximately 17 million Moderna vaccines.
“AVAT vaccines, partly manufactured in South Africa, are a true testament that local production and pooled procurement as envisioned in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are key to the attainment of a more sustainable post-COVID economic recovery across the continent,” said Dr. Vera Songwe, United Nations under-secretarygeneral and executive secretary of the United Nations Economic for Africa (UNECA).
The roll out of vaccines under the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will be led by UNICEF, who are overseeing vaccine delivery for the overall AVAT effort. UNICEF is also supporting the procurement of vaccines for the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative and the larger AVAT vaccine purchase effort.