First COVAX vaccines arrive in Rwanda

APA - Kigali (Rwanda)

Rwanda received Wednesday its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, becoming the forth country in Africa to get the shots through COVAX, a global scheme formed to ensure fair access to inoculations for low- and middle-income states.

The campaigns in Rwanda follow deliveries to Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria last week with Rwanda now tanging delivery of 240,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

The deliveries mark the start of what will be the largest, most rapid and complex global rollout of vaccines in history.

In total, COVAX aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, including at least 1.3 billion to the 92 economies eligible for support through the COVAX AMC, it said.

Healthcare and front-line workers will be the first to be inoculated in the first week of April, according to the ministry of Health in Kigali.

Richer countries have surged ahead with vaccinations but many poorer countries are still awaiting deliveries, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to warn the coronavirus crisis cannot end unless everyone can inoculate their populations.

COVAX, the overarching effort to accelerate development and access to COVID vaccines, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO) working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, manufacturers and civil society organizations, and others.

The start of Africa’s biggest immunization drive in history through the COVAX Facility marks a step forward in the continent’s fight against COVID-19.


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