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China, Africa and the Fast-Changing Geopolitics of Vaccines

A Kenyan woman receives the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine during the launch of the vaccination campaign for 5,000 frontline workers in the tourism and hospitality sector in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 21, 2021. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Public health authorities across Africa are scrambling to find new sources of vaccines now that the supply of jabs they had been counting on from the global Covax alliance has all but come to a halt due to the unfolding disaster in India.

Most African countries expected to receive tens of millions of doses manufactured by Indian companies. But now that New Delhi has halted all exports, African officials have no other choice but to look elsewhere — and in many cases, that’s leading them to Chinese and Russian suppliers.

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