Geneva: France on Friday sent the first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to the African nations, French President Emmanuel Macron said.
Despite the EU recommendation to consider AstraZeneca post-inoculation thrombosis a “very rare” side effect, a number of countries restricted its use last month or completely removed the vaccine from immunization programs.
“It is time to share. A vaccination campaign has already been launched in each of our countries. Our most vulnerable part of the population is gradually being vaccinated. And we continue to get more and more vaccines.
And we have enough funds to strengthen our solidarity by giving some of the doses. That is why I am announcing today that France will send the first doses through the COVAX program. As I speak, these doses of AstraZeneca are already being flown to West Africa, confirming the COVAX equitable access mechanism,” Macron said at an event to mark the one-year anniversary of the launch of the international COVID-19 ACT-Accelerator initiative.
According to the president, this way France helps other countries, especially in Africa, to vaccinate their populations. For this purpose, 500,000 doses of vaccines from various manufacturers will be delivered until mid-June.
COVAX is a component of the global ACT Accelerator facility whose aim is to bring together and make equitably accessible all global developments in the diagnostics, treatment and vaccines against COVID-19. The COVAX facility is responsible for equitable access to vaccines both for countries that can afford it and those in need of assistance. COVAX aims to ship close to 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021, in an unprecedented global effort to guarantee access to vaccines for all.