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13 million Covid-19 vaccines arriving in Ethiopia through COVAX from Team Europe donations

Published on the 29th of January, Addis-Abeba. Co-authors: Embassies of Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Sweden in Ethiopia, the European Union Delegation in Ethiopia and UNICEF.

For the last two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has severely tested our health systems globally. As friends and partners of Africa, the European Union (EU) and its Members States have undertaken great efforts to propose a coordinated political answer. It falls upon reliable and trusted partners to ensure that efforts to tackle this crisis lead to more solidarity and equity in the field of Covid-19 response.

This far, the most effective answer to the pandemic has been vaccination, but it can only be successful if accessible in all regions of the world. European partners have engaged under the framework of the COVAX Facility, which aims at coordinating equitable access and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, with the conviction that through collective action, we can make a difference. This international initiative, which brings together several key actors such as WHO and UNICEF, has brought effective support to the African continent, providing its first vaccine delivery in February 2021, and to Ethiopia with a first delivery on March 7th 2021.

In total, “Team Europe” has provided around two thirds of the Covid-19 vaccines donated to Ethiopia. This crucially contributes to the important efforts of the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to uptake the vaccination campaign throughout the country and reach its objective of 70% of the population vaccinated by the end of 2022.

In the last few days, Ethiopia has received 13 096 800 Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccines through COVAX mechanism, donated by France (6 746 400 doses), Finland (1 699 200 doses), Denmark (1 560 000 doses), Greece (1 346 400 doses), Italy (1 264 110 doses) and Sweden (480 690 doses).

These new deliveries come in addition to more than 10.5 million vaccine doses already donated by EU Member States to Ethiopia through COVAX, including nearly 7.5 million doses from Germany as well as 165 600 doses from Portugal, making it a total of almost 24 million doses received since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Team Europe”, the EU and its Member States, is actively contributing to a wider global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In May 2021, EU leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to speed up vaccine sharing to accelerate worldwide equitable access to safe and efficient vaccines. “Team Europe” has, since then, further pledged to donate 700 million doses by mid-2022, a large portion of which will go to the African continent. The EU has also exported more than half of the vaccines it has produced on its territory and has never restricted its exportations, even at the height of the crisis. Moreover, the EU is a major financial support to COVAX with more than 3 billion euros provided so far and supports the strengthening of African health systems and pharmaceutical production capacities.

As “Team Europe”, we are convinced that solidarity is a guarantee of efficiency. This pandemic highlighted that our destinies are tied: to better protect ourselves, we must protect others, because no one will be safe until we are all safe. This community of interests will be at the heart of the new partnership we wish to initiate on the occasion of the EU-AU Summit that will be held in Brussels on February 17-18, under the French presidency of the EU, based on three pillars: prosperity, security and mobility.