First COVID vaccine doses donated by EU begin arriving in Africa- GAVI

Vials labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and sryinge are seen in front of displayed Johnson&Johnson logo in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

GENEVA, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The first of nearly 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) COVID-19 vaccine being donated by the European Union by year-end have begun arriving in African countries, a statement by the GAVI vaccine alliance said on Monday.

Belgium negotiated the deal as part of the bloc's overall pledge to share at least 500 million doses with low and lower-middle income countries by mid-2022, the Geneva-based group, which leads the COVAX initiative, said in a statement.

"The first doses have reached Niger, with more doses arriving in a number of countries this week," Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, said in the statement that also listed Guinea Conakry, Mauritania, the Central African Republic, Djibouti, Nigeria, Togo and the Republic of Congo.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay Editing by Gareth Jones

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