Story at a glance

  • The 17 million doses will be available for delivery immediately and will be delivered to the African Union in the coming weeks.
  • “And we’re going to be sending some more by the end of the year to Kenya,” Biden said.
  • Thursday’s announcement comes as vaccination rates continue to lag in the African continent.

The Biden administration is donating an additional 17 million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to the African Union, where vaccination rates remain much lower than the rest of the world. 

President Biden made the announcement Thursday during a meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

“The United States has donated 2.8 million doses of vaccine to Kenya as part of the 50 million doses we’ve donated to the African Union. And I am proud to announce today that we’re making an additional historic one-time donation of 17 more million doses of J and J vaccine to the AU. And we’re going to be sending some more by the end of the year to Kenya,” Biden said


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During a Thursday press briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki said the 17 million doses will be available for delivery immediately and will be delivered to the African Union in the coming weeks. 

Biden last month announced the U.S. was purchasing an additional 500 million Pfizer doses to donate to lower income countries, bringing U.S. donations to other nations to more than 1.1 billion. 

Thursday’s announcement comes as vaccination rates continue to lag in the African continent. Just 15 African countries out of the continent's 54 nations have fully vaccinated 10 percent of their population against COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

WHO’s Regional Office for Africa this week also released a study suggesting only one in seven COVID-19 cases are being detected in Africa. 


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Published on Oct 15, 2021