The Mastercard Foundation and Africa CDC jointly announced that 907,200 Johnson & Johnson vaccines purchased under the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative have been delivered and are set for distribution.
The shipment is part of a first tranche of vaccines to be delivered under the initiative. The Through Saving Lives and Livelihoods, the Mastercard Foundation is purchasing vaccines for more than 65 million people across Africa. The vaccines will be distributed within countries by UNICEF.
Launched in June 2021, Saving Lives and Livelihoods is now a $1.5 billion 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.
“This donation is timely as it will boost our efforts to administer 10 million vaccinations by the end of this year. We encourage Kenyans to get fully vaccinated as COVID-19 disease is still a threat,” said Health Cabinet Secretary Sen. Mutahi Kagwe, as he welcomed the donation.
“Timely delivery of these vaccines underscores the effectiveness of the African Vaccine
Acquisition Trust. Working with the Africa CDC and multiple organizations, 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 all actors to step forward to save lives and livelihoods in Africa,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation.
“We are steadily picking up momentum in the continental vaccination effort. In September,
the first tranche of AVAT-purchased vaccines began rolling out to 39 countries. Now we are
announcing the delivery of vaccines purchased through the Saving Lives and Livelihoods
initiative. And we are working hard on the ground to get jabs-in-arms, which is the ultimate
measure of success,” said Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC.
Vaccines purchased under Saving Lives and Livelihoods build on a historic 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. The AVAT mechanism was created to enable
African countries to pool together resources to directly purchase vaccines at discounted
prices made possible by volume orders.
“Through the AVAT, we have secured enough vaccines to vaccinate 450 million people by
September 2022. In this regard, Africa has met its side of the bargain. So far, the Mastercard
Foundation is the only foundation that has stepped up to support Africa in this work. They
are covering AVAT’s entire November shipment—and we remain grateful for their support.
We hope to see other foundations and corporations get behind the local and national
delivery of vaccines,” said Strive Masiyiwa, African Union Special Envoy.
“This is a remarkable collaborative effort through the AVAT, which Afreximbank are proud to
have played our part in. The arrangement for the supply and distribution of vaccines was
configured on the back of a US$2 billion guarantee issued by Afreximbank to the vaccine
manufacturers, with the support of partners. Through these combined efforts, the
reopening of trade and commerce throughout the continent will be accelerated,” said
Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank.
“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-
Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic for Africa
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 has
extensive experience delivering vaccines, and a strong and well-established relationship with
African countries. UNICEF is also supporting the procurement of vaccines for the Saving Lives
and Livelihoods initiative and the larger AVAT vaccine purchase effort.
“UNICEF is proud to continue our support to AVAT and Africa CDC to help vaccinate the
millions of people in Africa who have been left behind,” said UNICEF Executive Director
Henrietta Fore. “With our long history of procuring and delivering vaccines all around the
world, we are committed to helping reduce vaccine inequity and keeping people safe.”