GENEVA (Reuters) – France will step up vaccine donations to the worldwide COVAX vaccine programme within the coming months with a donation of 500,000 shots, together with from suppliers aside from AstraZeneca, President Emmanuel Macron mentioned on Friday.
France is the primary European Union member to ship a few of its personal doses to creating nations. It has already introduced that it’s going to make an preliminary donation of 100,000 AstraZeneca doses this month, and Macron mentioned the primary batch was already on its method to West Africa.
“Now the time has come to share,” mentioned Macron at a digital occasion organised by the World Health Organization. “We will continue to receive more and more vaccines. We have sufficient means to step up our solidarity by donating doses.”
He referred to as the present world distribution of vaccines “unacceptable”, including that one in six Europeans had been vaccinated versus round 1 in 100 in Africa.
The 500,000 doses can be despatched between now and mid-June, he mentioned. He didn’t specify which vaccines these can be however mentioned they might come from a variety of suppliers and never solely AstraZeneca.
The COVAX facility goals to safe 2 billion vaccine doses for lower-income nations by the top of 2021 however has thus far delivered solely round 40 million doses.
In March, France really helpful the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine be used solely in folks over the age of 55, following experiences of uncommon blood clots. The European Union has additionally given emergency approval to vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Peter Graff)