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Zambia has been allocated 302,400 doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines by The Mastercard Foundation and Africa CDC.

The vaccines have been purchased under the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative.

In a joint statement, the two institutions have stated that the shipment is part of a first tranche of vaccines to be delivered under the initiative.

The Mastercard Foundation through Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative is purchasing vaccines for more than 65 million people across Africa and set for distribution within countries by UNICEF.

Mastercard Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer REETA ROY says timely delivery of the vaccines underscores the effectiveness of the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust.

Ms. ROY has called on all actors to step forward to save lives and livelihoods in Africa as more remains to be done to urgently increase vaccination rates.

And CDC Director of Africa, JOHN NKENGASONG observed that vaccinations on the continent are steadily picking up.

Dr. NKENGASONG said the CDC is working hard on the ground to get jabs-in-arms, which is the ultimate measure of success.

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 4-hundred million Johnson & Johnson vaccines as and a more recent agreement
or 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.

And African Union Special Envoy STRIVE MASIYIWA said through the AVAT, the AU has secured enough vaccines to vaccinate 4-hundred and 50 million people by September 2022.

Mr. MASIYIWA who is a Zimbabwean billionaire and philanthropist said Africa has met its side of the bargain.

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