WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government will ship hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses to the African countries of Togo and Angola this weekend, a White House official said on Friday.
The official said 188,370 doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech would be sent to Togo and 586,170 doses to Angola through the COVAX global vaccine distribution program.
The doses are part of the 500 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses purchased by the U.S. government this summer for distribution to the African Union and 92 low- and lower middle-income countries.
Scientific teams and legal and regulatory authorities from both countries have worked together to ensure the prompt delivery of vaccine lots to both countries, the official said.
In addition, the U.S. Agency for International Development has provided $1 million to help Angola carry out vaccinations, including support for health care workers, while helping the Angolan government ensure all 18 provinces had at least one ultra-cold chain unit ready to store vaccines.
USAID has also provided $500,000 to help Togo roll out vaccinations to date, including training and supervision for health workers to safely administer vaccines, the official said.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Editing by Nick Zieminski)