Rwanda is set to get Covid-19 vaccine doses through the African Union's African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative amounting to 2.6 million in addition to vaccines expected through other arrangements, the Minister for Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije, has said.
Dr Ngamije was speaking at the World Bank's Rwanda Economic Update meeting on Monday afternoon.
He said that beyond the vaccines secured from the COVAX Initiative, Rwanda had secured an additional 2.6 million doses from AU's Union's African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).
The AVATT was established by the AU as a component in support of the Africa Vaccine Strategy that was endorsed by the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government in August 2020.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) will facilitate payments by providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to US$2 billion to the manufacturers on behalf of the Member States.
AVATT has secured provisional 600 million Covid-19 vaccines doses from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca with the first 50 million expected to be available by April.
Rwanda's composition of 2.6 million doses is made up of about 500,000 from Pfizer, about 1 million doses from Johnson & Johnson and about 1 million AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses.
This will cover about 1.8 million Rwandans.
In coming days starting from mid-February, Rwanda is set to receive its first Covid-19 doses through the Covax initiative, a global initiative co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The initial batch from Covax Initiative will be made of about 1 million doses with the minister adding that later on, Rwanda could receive up to 7 million doses from the same facility.
The initiative will avail up to 20 per cent of the vaccines to be used in Rwanda.
Ngamije however noted that to reach the 60 per cent Covid-19 Vaccine coverage recommended by the African Union, Rwanda is in discussion with manufacturers and will be looking to partners such as the World Bank Group to secure financing for the Vaccine.
Rolande Pryce, the World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda said that they were working on preparing a new finance agreement that would among other things go into supporting vaccine procurement and deployment.
Ngamije noted that so far, the country has developed the national deployment and vaccination plan for Covid-19, which contains coordinated multi-sectoral efforts to ensure adequate resources mobilization, vaccine-related logistics, roll out and proper monitoring methods after administration of vaccines.