Ethiopia gets 9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Ethiopia had obtained nine million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and is expecting to inoculate at least a quarter of its 110 million population by the end of the year, the Minister of Health said on Tuesday.

Lia Tadesse said “For now up to April we have been allocated close to nine million doses”

“Within this year we want to make sure we get at least 20% of the population,” she said.

Ethiopia was open to future vaccine donations, Lia added, noting that the country did not receive doses individually, but only through the COVAX facility.

COVAX is co-led by the GAVI alliance, which provides developing countries with vaccines, the World Health Organisation, the Partnership for Excellence in Disease Preparedness and the United Nations. Fund for Girls.

African countries are struggling to procure COVID-19 vaccine supplies for their 1.3 billion population even as wealthy nations elsewhere in the world race ahead with mass immunisation programs. Only a handful of nations have started administering vaccines on the continent.

Lia did not indicate on Tuesday which vaccinations Ethiopia would get through COVAX.

“We are not getting any specific vaccine we are getting them based on the availability of the COVAX facility,” she told Reuters.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health said the nation will need 13 billion Ethiopian birr ($328 million) for vaccines and related expenses, said the state-run Ethiopian News Agency, which would be funded by government and foreign donations.

According to WHO info, over 142,000 Ethiopians have tested positive for COVID-19, with more than 2,100 dying from the disease.

COVAX said earlier this month that it had allocated at least 330 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries and that it will continue to provide at least 330 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the first half of 2021 and several million more.

This includes 240 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Indian Serum Institute, an additional 96 million doses of the same shot produced by AstraZeneca, plus 1.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech.

According to Reuters, Lai said that Ethiopia was waiting for more information about concerns that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine may not be as effective in significantly reducing the 501Y.V2 variant’s risk of mild or moderate COVID-19.

She said “There is a concern that the AstraZeneca may not work. It is not declared that it doesn’t work,”. “The information we have is that it’s under investigation by the relevant authorities within the COVAX facility, the research institutions and WHO, so we will wait for that.”

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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