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China is Going to Force Other Donor Countries to Up Their Game When It Comes to Vaccine Shipments to Africa

China’s FOCAC pledge to donate 600 million COVID vaccines to African countries and to jointly produce an additional 400 million doses on the continent is going to put new pressure on other donors, namely from the U.S. and Europe, to change how they distribute vaccines in Africa.

Specifically, the African Union and the Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC) are fed up with vaccine donations that are provided on an ad hoc basis, often on short notice with jabs that are approaching the end of their shelf life. “Countries need [a] predictable and reliable supply. Having to plan at short notice and ensure uptake of doses with short shelf lives exponentially magnifies the logistical burden on health systems that are already stretched,” the two groups said in a joint statement with WHO, UNICEF, and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance.

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