The U.S. government on Wednesday will ship nearly 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to two of the most populous African countries, White House officials said.
Four million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will go to Nigeria and 5.66 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to South Africa, the officials said.
The United States is ramping up vaccine deliveries to Africa as a third wave of the pandemic continues to accelerate across the continent.
The deliveries are part of a pledge President Biden made in June to share 80 million doses globally–with about 25 million doses expected to arrive in 49 African states.
Vaccine availability in Africa has been hampered by a factor called ‘vaccine nationalism’, which has seen wealthy nations snapping up excess doses of available vaccines for their own populations.
The United Kingdom will also ship millions of doses of vaccines to the rest of the world in the coming days through the vaccine alliance initiative, COVAX.
Nigeria received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in March.