Rwanda starts vaccinating vulnerable persons against COVID-19

With the limited 1,000 doses of Moderna vaccine given to high-risk groups, including frontline staff, Rwanda has begun its first phase of vaccination against Covid-19.

The first and main beneficiaries of the Covid-19 jab are to get it for free.

The Ministry of Health declares that the limited initial doses were “acquired through international partnership in limited quantities” though the country anticipates receiving additional doses in the coming weeks to allow it to expand the vaccination exercise.

Between February and March, Rwanda plans to receive at least 996,000 doses of AstraZeneca and 102,960 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

In the second roll-out, the nation expects to procure vaccines from the Covax Facility, a global initiative aimed at equal access to Covid-19 vaccines, and African Union’s Africa Medical Supplies Platform.

“Rwanda’s Covid-19 vaccination plan is ready with infrastructure, protocols, and personnel in place,” the Ministry of Health asserted in a statement issued on Sunday.

According to Nation Africa, a mass testing exercise for residents of Kigali city with coronavirus symptoms and contacts of Covid-19 patients was also launched by the government, an exercise that is expected to direct the process of easing restrictions and reopening the economy.

Health Minister Daniel Ngamije previously indicated Rwanda is prepared to obtain more one million doses of Covid-19 AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in mid-February.

Dr Ngamije said that in each province, ultra-cold freezers and containers are in place to store and administer vaccines properly.

According to the Health Ministry, Rwanda plans to vaccinate 20 percent of the population in 2021 and eight million people in two years.

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