Mogadishu (SD) – The French government has donated 108,000 dozen AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to Somalia to strengthen the country’s immunization program.
The vaccine was received by COVAX global initiative, Somali Ministry of Health. COVAX works with governments and industries to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine is available worldwide, in both high-income and low-income countries.
COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Gavi Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Today’s 108,000 doses will accelerate vaccination efforts in Somalia, which began in mid-March 2021, when the first 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 COVAX vaccine arrived in the country.
Somalia plans to vaccinate at least 20% of its population in a number of ways. The focus will be on frontline workers and the most vulnerable, including the elderly.
Barbara Nel, AstraZeneca’s Africa Director, said: “The arrival of 108,000 dozen AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in Mogadishu is good news for the people of Somalia.”
Adding “On behalf of AstraZeneca, I would like to thank Minister of Health Fawzia Abikar Nur, the French government and our COVAX partners, the World Health Organization, Gavi, CEPI and UNICEF for making this possible.”
French Ambassador to Somalia Kuster Menager said the donation was intended to help the Somali people prevent COVID-19.
“The Government of France, the European Union and COVAX are ready to play a key role in strengthening efforts to improve access to vaccines in Somalia, so that key stakeholders in the fight against Covid-19 infection and all the Somali people, ”said the ambassador.
Somali Minister of Health Dr. Fawzia Abikar Nur said the arrival of the COVID- 19 vaccine in time for the third wave, adding vaccine was the only way prevented the public.
The Minister noted that so far an estimated 186,094 people in Somalia have received their first vaccine while 92,792 have received their second vaccine, thanks to the French government.
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