During a meeting with the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta at The White House, President Joe
Biden said that the United States will make a one-time donation of more than 17 million doses of
the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the African Union.
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 vaccine via the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust, the White House
Kenyatta said the United States “has done its best to step up in terms of not only helping Kenya,
but the African continent.”
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 corona virus vaccines administered around the world by mid-September, only 2% had
been in Africa. As of 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.
The 17 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson are available for delivery immediately and will be delivered to the
African Union in the coming weeks. African countries and the World Health Organization have
been urging drug makers for months to set up vaccine plants on the continent to help it secure
supplies of COVID-19 shots that have been hovered up by wealthier nations.
The meeting with Kenyatta at the White House marked Biden’s first as president with an African
leader. Kenya holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month. The United
States and Kenya have long cooperated on economic and security initiatives including
counterterrorism. Biden also said the two countries will discuss what the U.S. can do to help with
security issues in the Horn of Africa and ways to fight climate change.
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