ADDIS ABABA, 11 April 2021 – The African Union (AU) has dropped plans to procure COVID-19 vaccines from the Serum Institute of India, citing supply concerns.
Indian restrictions on exports have complicated things for Africa, according to Dr. John Nkengasong, the head of Africa’s Centers for Disease Control (Africa CDC).
Africa needs to find reliable supplies of the vaccines if the continent is to effectively implement inoculation programs, Dr. Nkengasong explained.
The AU says it is exploring other options, including negotiating for supplies of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the drug manufacturer.
Dr. Nkengasong said the AU has already signed a deal for up to 400 million single-dose jabs from Johnson & Johnson.
Officials at the AU reaffirmed that they are continuing to provide Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses via the COVAX initiative despite concerns that its use has been linked to rare blood clots.
Medical experts have dismissed the concerns, pointing out that any blood clots are rare and should not be given more attention than the life-threatening real dangers posed by infections from the new coronavirus.