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Mastercard Foundation begins distribution of 15.2 million vaccines in Africa



NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – Mastercard Foundation in conjunction with the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention  Wednesday purchased 15.2 million vaccines set to be distributed across Africa.

Under the initiative dubbed Saving Lives and Livelihoods, Mastercard Foundation targets to reach a total of more than 65 million people across the continent.

Mastercard Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Reeta Roy said that the project is aimed at safeguarding Africans against COVID-19, especially in the wake of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant.

“Working with the Africa CDC and multiple organizations, the Mastercard Foundation will support the rollout of vaccinations to millions across the continent. More remains to be done to urgently increase vaccination rates. We call on governments, funders, civil society, and others to step forward to save lives and livelihoods in Africa,” Roy added in a statement.

She added that the vaccine would be distributed within countries by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“UNICEF has extensive experience delivering vaccines, and a strong and well-established relationship with African countries,” the statement read in part.

On his part, Director of the Africa CDC John Nkengasong reiterated that the partnership between the two would help other organizations and stakeholders step up in their efforts to roll out vaccines to Africans.

“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,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative received 400 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines through an agreement with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT). It further received an addition of 50 Million Moderna vaccines.

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Through the agreement, the Mastercard foundation is set to fund the purchase of 57 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines and is seeking to purchase approximately 17 million Moderna vaccines.

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