Covid-19: Mastercard offers AU $1.3 billion for vaccines

The announcement was made this Tuesday in New York. It is the largest private donation for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccine to date. The money will be managed by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, set up by the African Union.
Less than 2% of the continent’s population has received a dose of vaccine. This is far from the scores achieved by developed countries. For example, nearly 52% of Americans and more than 63% of Israelis are already vaccinated. The MasterCard Foundation grant will enable the African Union to purchase enough vaccine to protect at least 50 million people against Covid-19, as well as support local vaccine production efforts.
The money will be released over three years, the Mastercard Foundation announced. It is the largest private contribution to the African Union’s immunization program. The money comes at a time when the Covax initiative launched by the international community to help poor countries acquire vaccines has so far been able to deliver only 19 million doses to 43 African countries.
The initiative is now ramping up, its executive director said this week, thanks in part to U.S. donations. But to reach the African Union’s goal of vaccinating 60% of the continent’s population by the end of 2022, it will take much more than Mastercard’s generosity.