Senegal kicks off COVID Vaccination Campaign with China’s Sinopharm
According to the country’s Finance Ministry, Senegal received 200,000 doses of China’s COVID-19 Sinopharm vaccine on Wednesday, bought at about 3.8 million (US) dollars.
It is also estimated that almost 1.3 million more vaccine doses will arrive through the COVAX initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO).
President Macky Sall addressed the country in a televised ceremony to mark the occasion.
“The urgency today is to protect our health workers on the frontline against the pandemic. It is also to protect people over 60 years old and those living with comorbidity. We will begin vaccinating people in these three categories as they are the priority.”
According to Africanews, cold rooms have been built for vaccine storage and the country has obtained 1,117 WHO-approved freezers.
President Sall proceeded, “We have already started the process of acquiring other batches of the vaccine in the next few weeks, for a total of 6,790,000 doses that will allow us to begin the mass vaccination phase.”
Sall called on the Minister of Health to incorporate all appropriate logistical, financial and social mobilisation arrangements for the start of the vaccination campaign.
The Head of State of Senegal also invited the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, which produces a vaccine against yellow fever, to explore the possibility of developing coronavirus vaccines locally.
Senegal has reported nearly 32,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, including 760 deaths, and infections have risen in the past few months.