The arrangement was reversed in part due to interventions from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and French President Emmanuel Macron, Masiyiwa said in a Thursday press briefing.
Masiyiwa said Europe’s von der Leyen also committed to sending the J&J vaccines, which were packaged by J&J’s South African partner company Aspen, back to African nations.
“All the vaccines produced at Aspen will stay in Africa and will be distributed to Africa,” Masiyiwa said.
“All vaccines from that facility are under the control now of the South African government, which has committed that those vaccines will go to Africa.”
Shipment marred by criticism
Many African countries will likely be unable to immunize up to 10 percent of their most vulnerable populations by September, the WHO stated.
The African Union has purchased 400 million doses of the J&J vaccine, which Masiyiwa said will be distributed across the continent between now and September 2022.
“In addition, the Europeans committed to give us 200 million doses before the end of December,” Masiyiwa added.