Slaughter and May advised on the establishment of the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and its purchase from Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) of up to 400 million single-shot COVID-19 vaccine doses for members states of the African Union, through a contract between Janssen, AVAT and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
In a historic COVID-19 vaccine procurement agreement signed on 28 March 2021, all African Union Member States, through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), will have access to 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, with the potential to order an additional 180 million doses. The vaccines will be made available to African countries through the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), over a period of 18 months. The transaction was made possible through the US$2 billion facility approved by Afreximbank, who also acted as Financial and Transaction Advisers, Guarantors, Instalment Payment Advisers and Payment Agents.
The successful conclusion of the Agreement was made possible by the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), who supported the negotiation process with Johnson & Johnson. UNICEF is also acting as procurement and logistics agent. AVAT was supported in terms of advice on various aspects by the World Health Organization (WHO).