The African Union (AU) plans to buy up to 110 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc.
Moderna is prepared to deliver the first 15 million doses to Africa later this year as part of an agreement facilitated by the White House.
An additional 35 million doses will be delivered in the first quarter of 2022 and up to 60 million doses in the second quarter.
All doses are offered at Moderna’s lowest tiered price.
The company is also working on plans to allow it to fill doses of its Covid-19 vaccine in Africa as early as 2023, in parallel to building an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Africa.
“We believe our vaccine can play an important role in addressing the needs of low-income countries given its combination of… efficacy against Covid-19, strong durability in the real-world evidence, and superior storage and handling conditions,” Stéphane Bancel, the chief executive of Moderna said in a statement .
This new deal would be in addition to Moderna’s agreement with Covax to supply up to 500m doses of its Covid-19 vaccine from the fourth quarter of 2021 through 2022.
The Moderna vaccine is currently being administered in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Mali and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Only 5% of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19.