Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutica NV has entered into an agreement with the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to deliver up to 220 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the African Union’s 55 member states in the third quarter of 2021.
AVATT can potentially order an additional 180 million doses for a combined total of up to 400 million doses through 2022.
Vaccine availability is subject to its successful approval or authorization by the national regulatory authorities of AU member states.
“From the beginning of this pandemic, Johnson & Johnson has recognized that no one is safe until everyone is safe, and we have been committed to equitable, global access to new COVID-19 vaccines,” said J&J CEO and Chairman Alex Gorsky in a prepared statement. “Our support for the COVAX Facility, combined with supplementary agreements with countries and regions, will help accelerate global progress toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic.”
J&J entered into an agreement in December with Gavi, formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation based in Geneva, to support the vaccination needs of 190 participating economies through its COVAX Facility. The expected advance purchase agreement between Gavi and J&J will provide up to 500 million doses to COVAX through 2022, according to J&J.
Data from the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE study showed that the J&J COVID-19 vaccine reduced symptomatic COVID-19 in 67% of participants. Protection was observed from day 14 and was maintained 28 days post-vaccination.
Additionally, the vaccine was 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease and showed protection against COVID-19 related hospitalization across different variants beginning 28 days after vaccination, the data found.
J&J is working with nine partners across four continents, including Aspen Pharmacare in South Africa, to manufacture and ship its vaccine. Aspen will support vaccine shipments to the AU and will also contribute to the global availability of the vaccine, according to an announcement.