EU to return J&J vaccine doses to Africa

Johnson and Johnson jab
Johnson and Johnson jab

The European Union will return coronavirus vaccination doses produced in Africa and shipped to Europe from the manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made a commitment on the sidelines of a conference in Berlin, Strive Masiyiwa, coronavirus commissioner of the African Union, said on Thursday.

Von der Leyen has promised to deliver 200 million additional doses by the end of the year. Around 70 million of them come from Germany.

“This is good news from Europe,” said Masiyiwa.

In Africa, only just under 3 per cent of the population have been fully vaccinated, although the continent is currently in the grip of a third wave of infections.

It is estimated that around 1.6 billion doses are required to vaccinate around 60 per cent of the population.

The export of vaccine doses produced in South Africa to Europe goes back to an arrangement between Johnson & Johnson and the South African contract manufacturer Aspen.

That has now changed, according to Masiyiwa. Aspen is now producing its own product under a license exclusively for the African market.

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