The World Bank and the African Union (AU) have agreed to collaborate on supplying coronavirus vaccines for up to 400 million people on the continent.

“In a boost to the African Union’s target to vaccinate 60 percent of the continent’s population by 2022, the World Bank and the AU announced that they are partnering to support the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative with resources to allow countries to purchase and deploy vaccines for up to 400 million people across Africa,” the official statement on the World Bank website reads.

According to the report, the new mechanism will complement the WHO-backed COVAX vaccine-sharing facility. The measure is aimed at curbing the spread of the virus in Africa.

The World Bank has pledged to provide access to its $12 billion in financing to support the purchase and deployment of vaccine doses secured by the AVATT. The task team has already managed to negotiate 220 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with an option to procure additional 180 million.

The World Health Organization reported that the number of Covid-19 cases in Africa has exceeded 5.2 million, with the death toll reaching over 137,000 people.

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