Seychelles, Egypt lead as Africa finally joins global covid-19 vaccination
London, Jan. 25, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Africa finally joined the global covid-19 vaccination with three African countries-Egypt, Guinea, Seychelles rolling out vaccination at different speed
The island nation of Seychelles became the first country in Africa to roll out its mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign, with the country’s political leaders and health workers taking the vaccine
President Wavel Ramkalawan, who said he wanted to lead by example by being the first, followed by the vice president, with the cabinet of ministers, and members of the National Assembly were the first ones to take the Sinopharm vaccine.
Health workers also received the vaccine at the campaign launched at the headquarters of the Ministry of Health at the Seychelles Hospital.
The Ministry described the vaccination roll out as a crucial step in responding to the pandemic and which adds a layer of protection in addition to wearing masks, physical and social distance and maintaining proper hygiene. Seychelles has 50,000 doses of the vaccine
Though covid-19 vaccination began in Guinea days ahead of Seychelles with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, it was just on an experimental basis, also starting with government officials,
Guinea ordered only 55 doses of the Russian vaccine, said Dr. Sakoba Keita, the director-general of the National Health Security Agency.
“We requested a small quantity of the vaccine, 55 doses precisely. This is the beginning of an order,” Keita said. “we vaccinated in this pilot phase 25 senior officials of the state. There are 30 doses left and we will continue with the vaccination.”
On Sunday, Egypt began its Covid-19 immunisation programme, becoming the third country in Africa to vaccinate its citizens, with a doctor and a nurse receiving the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country with over 100 million people, received its first batch of the vaccine in December.
Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed announced on Sunday that the coronavirus vaccination campaign for medical teams would start nationwide on Monday.
“All healthcare workers will receive it for free, it’s their right,” Zayed told a press conference at Abu Khalifa Hospital in the northeastern city of Ismailia.
Zayed stated that Egypt already reserved 100 million doses of the Coronavirus vaccine through agreements with two companies to secure 40 million doses in addition to reserving 20 million doses through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The minister also added that the health ministry was currently registering vaccines from Russian, British and Chinese vaccine factories without naming them and that Egypt has the capability to store 140 million doses of the vaccine
She also paid tribute to over 330 doctors in Egypt who have died from the virus.
People with chronic diseases and the elderly will be next in line for the jab, but the minister said citizens “who have the means should pay for the vaccine” in the coming months.
Currently, over 3.4 million confirmed #COVID19 cases on the African continent – with more than 2.8 million recoveries & 84,000 deaths cumulatively.
As Sunday, January 24, 2021, , more than 64 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in 50 mostly high-income countries.
WHO African region is worried about the slow pace of covid vaccination on the continent saying the continent is in danger of being left behind