EYEAFRICA TV: Djibouti City, DJIBOUTI:-Djibouti is the second country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, to receive vaccines against COVID-19 following the arrival of a first shipment of AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India (SII) vaccine at Djibouti International Airport.
The vaccines were delivered with UNICEF’s support through COVAX, a coalition co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) that ensures fair and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to countries regardless of their income.
The delivery follows the arrival of a quantity of syringes, part of a Gavi-funded and supported global stockpile, that UNICEF delivered on behalf of the COVAX Facility on 27th February 2021.
WHO has worked with national authorities to put a vaccination strategy in place that includes training vaccinators, ensuring vaccine safety, and surveillance for adverse effects.
This first shipment of vaccines will support the vaccination of health care workers, people over 50 years of age and people with comorbidities.
“The vaccines are a critical part of controlling the spread of the virus and our eventual return to normalcy,” Mohamed Warsama Dirieh, Djibouti’s Minister of Health said. He urged those eligible to register and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“We and all the partners are impatient to start the vaccination of the eligible people in order to ensure maximum protection of the population and to put an end to this pandemic and return to a normal life,” said Melva Johnson, UNICEF representative in Djibouti.
“The arrival of these vaccines marks a new phase in the ongoing response to COVID-19 in Djibouti. The more people who are vaccinated, the more effective the vaccines will become in slowing the spread of the virus, drive down infection rates and protect the whole of society. But we should always remember that vaccinations only work when they are combined with all other public health strategies,” said Dr Mondher Letaief, WHO Representative in Djibouti.
Since the first case was detected in March 2020, Djibouti has registered 6,102 positive COVID-19 cases with 63 deaths.