Rwanda shuns Chinese vaccine, goes for AstraZeneca, Moderna
London, Dec. 14, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Rwanda says it is going for AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and would be delivered in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Minister for Health Dr Daniel Ngamije
With the announcement, Rwanda has chosen a different direction from Morocco and Egypt that have gone with the Chinese vaccine
The minister was appearing on the national broadcast station on Sunday revealed that the country had already submitted all the necessary requirements to the Covax framework, a global initiative that aims to speedily and affordably secure doses of the Covid-19 for member countries, once the vaccine is available.
READ ALSO: US TO BEGIN COVID-19 VACCINATIONS ON MONDAY
“Rwanda is ready to receive and properly administer AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines by using the already existing cold supply chain. Request for those vaccines was already made. And we hope that the country will be among the first countries in Africa to receive them.”
According to Ngamije, only 20 per cent of Rwanda’s population will be vaccinated in the first phase due to the available resources.
“At the moment, we are identifying the priority population who include those at high risk of containing the virus as well as essential workers.”
“Upon securing the vaccine, the public will be educated about the vaccination and the possible minor side effects,” Ngamije added.
“For the first phase of Covid-19 vaccinations, we are targeting 20 per cent of the population. But this doesn’t stop us from engaging other countries in order to secure more doses to be able to vaccinate at least 60 per cent of the population,” he reiterated.
Upon securing the vaccine, Minister Ngamije said that it will be free of charge to all the primary beneficiaries.
In an earlier interview with The New Times, the Minister of State in charge of Primary Health Care at the Ministry of Health, Dr Tharcisse Mpunga highlighted that Rwanda seeks $15 million dollars to acquire the Covid-19 vaccine once available.
While developing countries have to wait longer, several countries including the UK, US have already started administering the vaccine.
On December 8, the UK kicked off what the country referred to as a mass Covid-19 vaccination programme. The country is administering the PfiZer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
Rwanda has confirmed a total of 6,528 Covid-19 cases, of whom 5,892 patients have recovered.
A total of 56 patients have succumbed to the virus.