Senegal to get first doses of covid vaccine in March 2021
London, Dec. 15, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The first doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available in Senegal from March 2021, according to the director of Prevention, Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action, Dr. Mamadou Ndiaye,
In an exclusive interview with radio Sud FM, Dr. Ndiaye said members of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, including Senegal, would have their first doses after approval by the World Health Organization (WHO) without mentioning with of the vaccines the country applied for
Egypt and Morocco have publicly announced preference for the Chinese vaccine while Rwanda says it is going for AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the two north African countries have received their first doses of the vaccine, Rwanda like Senegal is expecting theirs in early 2021
Dr. Ndiaye explained that Gavi members were guaranteed to have their first doses by the end of the first quarter of 2021 through a partnership with WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and the European Union.
According to him, since 1976 and the start of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), Senegal has never used a vaccine that had not been previously approved by the WHO.
Senegalese Minister of Health and Social Action, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, declared on Dec. 10 that the country had not chosen a vaccine at this stage, but that it was participating in the international mechanism for group purchasing of vaccines.
“The vaccine that we will choose in this context will be the vaccine that will be approved by the World Health Organization”, he stressed.
Since March 2, Senegal has recorded 17,216 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 350 deaths and 16,243 recoveries
Meanwhile, the African Union Commission (AUC) says it is paying attention to concerns over fears that wealthy nations might hoard COVID-19 vaccines stocks, South African International Relations and Cooperation minister Naledi Pandor said
“‘Vaccine Nationalism’ is a very real threat as it will create supply problems to poorer countries thereby denying their citizens access to life saving vaccines,” Pandor briefed the media on international developments in Pretoria.
Pandor noted countries might use intellectual property rights to limit access to the vaccines by emerging nations, saying the AUC and the Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) were “seeking ways of ensuring all countries have access.”
With some countries battling second waves of the virus, Pandor said working together was a better option at tackling the pandemic.
“Defeating this virus still requires countries to collaborate with each other and to work with multilateral institutions to ensure that all people access the required health and medical interventions and that they benefit from economic and social measures,” she noted.
Pandor added that the AU “has also developed a vaccine strategy for the continent, and established a COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), in support of the Africa Vaccine” which was intended to ensure vaccines were available to all citizens in Africa.
South Africa is the current rotating chair of the African Union.