The US will ship more than two million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Kenya and Morocco.
The VOA on Wednesday quoted White House press secretary Jen Psaki saying: “America will be the arsenal of vaccines in our fight against COVID-19. We are proud to be able to deliver these safe and effective vaccines to the people of Kenya and Morocco.”
Jen Psaki further said the US has hit a major milestone in the global effort to be the arsenal of vaccines, with 400 million doses shipped to 112 countries for free, without strings attached.”
“To put America’s leadership into perspective, we have shipped four times more free doses to the world than any other country. And this is on top of our efforts to expand manufacturing at home and abroad, our close partnerships with manufacturers to provide their vaccines to hard-hit areas, and our work to turn vaccines into vaccinations around the globe.”
In the latest round of donations to be distributed by COVAX, Kenya will receive 517,140 doses of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine while Morocco will receive a total of 1,599,390 doses.
These new doses come from the half-billion doses secured by President Joe Biden’s administration mid last year, the White House said.
In both countries, the White House said, scientific, legal, and regulatory teams are coordinating to ensure the prompt delivery of safe and effective tranches of vaccines.
Meanwhile, the health advocates have welcomed the donations but questioned whether they were enough, especially considering that the US is promoting booster doses for already vaccinated Americans while so many people worldwide have yet to get the first shot.
“Less than 10 percent of the people in Africa have received a vaccine, and more than three billion people, including doctors and nurses around the world have not received their first dose, even as rich countries are starting to administer fourth doses,” said Robbie Silverman, senior manager of private sector advocacy at Oxfam America, a Boston-based organization that advocates for the poor.
Kenya, with a population of nearly 54 million has reported more than 320,000 cases and 5,565 deaths from the virus, according to Ministry of Health data, while over 11.7 million doses have been administered.
Kenya appears to have endured at least five waves of infection. Compared with the previous four waves, the last wave, which peaked in December and has since fallen sharply, resulted in the greatest number of known infections but the lowest number of deaths.
Morocco, a North African nation of nearly 37 million people, has seen more than 1.1 million confirmed cases and 15,167 deaths, according to the WHO.
Nearly 51.9 million vaccines have been administered. WHO data appear to show that Morocco is in the midst, possibly the peak of a third wave.