Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Botswana awaits 1.4 million vaccine doses

Botswana is expecting to receive just under 1.4 million Covid-19 vaccine doses between August and September this year.

“We are expecting to receive, at least, the following within these two months:  Johnson & Johnson: 93,000 doses from COVAX Facility, Pfizer: 81 900 doses from COVAX Facility, Sinovac: 61,200 doses from COVAX Facility, Johnson & Johnson: 1 152 654 doses from the AVATT facility,” said the Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Edwin Dikoloti.

The minister said by February 2021, Botswana had paid a total of USD 10,302,882 to the pooled procurement facilities of COVAX and AVATT. To date, the government has paid a further USD 8,932,000 directly to the manufacturers making a total of investment to vaccine procurement of USD 19,234,882.

“Contrary to our expectation of timely delivery of the vaccine, this has not translated despite the payments, which is explained by the existing global supply constraints,” said Dikoloti.

COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (the “COVAX Facility”), was launched in April 2020 with the aim of accelerating the development and manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world. 

The goal of the Facility is to deliver at least two billion doses of safe, effective vaccines to all participating countries by the end of 2021. Botswana joined this facility as a self-financing country (due to its Upper-Middle Income status) in October 2020. An upfront payment of USD 3,292,800.00 was made then, which assured that about 940,800 vaccine doses, sufficient to vaccinate 20% of our population can be purchased through the Facility. These doses are expected to be delivered in 2021. 

Through the facility, Botswana was able to receive a total of 82,290 doses (representing a total of 16.1% of the vaccines used in Botswana) of the COVID-19 vaccines being 19,890 BioTech Pfizer and 62,400 doses of AstraZeneca of which 38,400 is still pending to be delivered by August 2021. The African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVATT) 8. Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) was established through the African Union (AU) and its main goal was to identify concrete actions needed to secure timely, efficient and effective deployment of COVID19 vaccines in Africa. Botswana joined this platform in April 2021 and paid an advance amount of USD 7,010,082. 

“We are expecting the delivery of our allocation of 1,152,654 Johnson & Johnson doses to be delivered within the third and fourth quarters of 2021. We also considered engaging directly with vaccine manufactures so as to increase the chances of securing the vaccines for our people. o far we have signed agreements with Moderna for an amount of USD 4,332,000 to secure 500,000 doses; Sinovac: USD 3,000,000 for 200,000 doses (these were fully delivered in July). We have a pending agreement for delivery with Bharat in India for COVAXIN of which an amount of USD 1,600,000 has been paid for 100,000 doses. We are currently finalizing agreement with Pfizer for a possible 2 million doses,” said the Minister.

Botswana has received 230,000 doses of Covid-19 doses in donations.

“We received 30,000 COVISHIELD from the Indian Government and a total of 200,000 doses of SINOVAC from the Chinese Government,” said the minister.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper