The European Union started negotiations with vaccine producers back in July 2020 and that means that more than 25 countries acted as one for buying the vaccine. This clearly helps the countries with a lower negotiating power (either logistically or financially).

As some campaigners are saying that poor countries have serious issues securing the vaccine for their citizens, I am wondering if the European Union model has been used in other parts of the world (e.g. 3+ countries agreed to negotiate, buy and distribute the vaccine together).

Question: Is there any example of multiple countries negotiating as a bloc for buying COVID-19 vaccines?

1 Answer 1


The African Union has secured 270 Million Covid vaccine doses.

A provisional 270 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been secured by the African Union (AU) for distribution across the continent.

These doses will be allocated across the continent based on population.

Millions of coronavirus vaccine doses secured by the African Union (AU) will be allocated according to countries’ populations, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

The BBC article lightly covers the concerns about wealthy countries locking down much of the access to the vaccines, and also mentions technical concerns about distributing the super-cold requiring AZ vaccine across africa.

The Aljazzera article goes into slightly greater depth on South Africa's arrangements highlighting the multiple sources of vaccine they are securing, so they are not entirely dependent on the AU route.

South Africa itself plans to access doses via three sources: the AU arrangement, the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX, co-led by the World Health Organization), and direct deals with manufacturers.

This I believe makes it substantially different to the EU approach, where the EU is acting as the sole procurement point for vaccines in the union.

“We can, of course, improve the European framework, but a national framework would have been folly,” he said, referring to the idea that EU countries should have pursued their own vaccine procurement efforts, "which some in Germany are lobbying for now in a crazy way in my opinion.” - French Europe Minister Clément Beaune

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