COVAX-provided vaccines arrive in 6 sub-Saharan African countries

Nairobi, Mar 3 (efe-epa).- Kenya, Angola, The Gambia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal on Wednesday became the latest African nations to receive deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines provided by the World Health Organization’s distribution program COVAX, according to Unicef, which coordinates the supply.

A total of 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-developed vaccine arrived at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport late Tuesday as part of 3.56 million jabs Kenya is set to receive through the COVAX.

“This is a historic day for Kenya, marking an important milestone in our fight against Covid-19,” Kenyan health minister Mutahi Kagwe said as the batch arrived.

This batch will be administered to “frontline health workers” as well as security forces and teachers during a first phase of the vaccination campaign, which is targeting 1.25 million people, the WHO Representative to Kenya Rudi Eggers said.

The WHO’s COVAX mechanism, created to ensure global and equitable access to vaccines, aims to distribute at least 2 billion doses by the end of the year.

 Earlier this morning, Rwanda received 240,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Another 102,960-does-batch of the Pfizer vaccine is expected to arrive later on Wednesday, health minister Daniel Ngamize said.

Rwanda “will immediately roll out our prepared vaccination plan, which will see target risk groups across Rwanda receive their first of two vaccine doses,” Ngamize said. “Our target is to vaccinate 30% of our population by the end of 2021 and 60% by the end of 2022.”

Rwanda began its coronavirus vaccination rollout mid-February after purchasing around 1,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines from the pharmaceutical companies.

Senegal on Wednesday received 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX, having previously purchased and obtained 200,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm jab for 3.3 million euros.

Senegal kicked off a vaccination campaign on 23 February to inoculate the health workers, people older than 60 years and those with underlying health conditions.

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