The US has shipped more than 2 million cans of COVID-19 to Kenya and Ghana

An employee shows the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital in New York, the United States, December 21, 2020. REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz / File Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (Reuters) – The United States shipped more than 2 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine (MRNA.O) to Kenya and Ghana on Thursday, through the global distribution program COVAX, a White House official said .

The United States sent 880,320 cans to Kenya, bringing the total number of cans sent to the African country to just over 1.76 million, the official said. It sent 1,229,620 cans to Ghana, the first shipment to that country.

Thursday’s shipments were the latest tranches of a U.S. vaccine diplomacy that has sent vaccines to dozens of countries.

The doses are given via COVAX, which is jointly operated by the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

Africa lags significantly behind other regions in vaccinating its citizens, with most countries reporting single-digit vaccination rates compared to much higher double-digit rates in advanced economies like the United States.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal Editing by Robert Birsel and Gerry Doyle

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