The Government of Somalia announced this Monday the receipt of 300,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca through the COVAX mechanism, an initiative supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at guaranteeing the delivery of these drugs to all the countries of the world.
The Somali Ministry of Health has highlighted that “efforts to protect Somalis during the coronavirus pandemic have increased today with the arrival of the first shipment of 300,000 doses of the vaccine from Oxford and AstraZeneca.”
Thus, he has said that the first target group of vaccines will be frontline workers, the elderly and people with chronic diseases, as recommended by the ‘ad hoc’ commission created in the country to deal with COVID- 19.
“In total, Somalia has achieved enough COVAX vaccines to vaccinate at least 20 percent of its population,” in phases, he said, before adding that “the Government of Somalia is in the process of assessing ways to deliver vaccines to more people”.
Health Minister Fauziya Abikar stressed that the arrival of vaccines “takes place at a critical time for Somalia, which is experiencing a new wave of the epidemic.” “It can only be contained if all the countries are together, Somalia included,” she added.
In this sense, he has asked “all health workers and people at high risk, who have priority, to receive the vaccines of this first batch to be able to work with health workers, people in front lines and people in high risk”.
“We have strong systems to carry out immunization campaigns and enable the safe delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to front-line workers. This first stage of vaccination will be a historic step in Somalia’s fight against COVID- 19 “, said the minister.
Along these lines, he has argued that “vaccines have helped other countries reduce the spread of COVID-19” and has shown “confidence” that “they will do the same with the Somalis”, while calling for them to continue respecting the use of a mask, social distancing and other restrictions.
For his part, the United Nations special representative in Somalia, James Swan, has emphasized the agency’s willingness to “support” the authorities and the vaccination process to “contain the spread of the virus” and that the country “continue to do so. progress towards peace and stability “.
The Somali authorities have confirmed 8,946 cases and 349 deaths to date, including 1,432 infections and 76 deaths between February 1 and 22 in the capital, Mogadishu, which has set off alarms in the African country.
© 2021 Europa Press.