Senegal begins covid vaccination as Ebola vaccines arrive Guinea
London, Feb. 23, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Senegal has joined the covid vaccination train with the Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr first in line to be vaccinated and said he wanted to serve as as an example and reassure the public on the safety of the vaccines
The authorities in Senegal said fighting misinformation and Covid-19 vaccination reluctance will be key in the campaign launched on Tuesday.
The country purchased its first 200,000 doses from the Chinese Sinopharm.
Frontline health workers and vulnerable groups will be prioritised in the vaccination across different parts of the country.
Health experts say the challenge of identifying people with underlying health conditions must be tackled quickly especially since medical records are not necessarily digitised.
To overcome this difficulty, the government has launched an online registration form with priority criteria to be assessed for any person registered before vaccination.
Authorities say the country is expected to begin a mass vaccination campaign in the coming weeks with a second batch of more than six million doses.
The West African nation is experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases despite restrictive measures and a curfew in Dakar and Thiès regions.
Last week saw the total number of Senegal’s coronavirus-related deaths reach 800.
Meanwhile, BBC reports that a special plane carrying a consignment of Ebola vaccines has landed in Guinea, which will allow a vaccination campaign to begin later on Tuesday.
#Ebola vaccines sent by @WHO arrive in N’Zerekore, #Guinea🇬🇳. WHO teams are on-ground supporting the quick rollout of the vaccination campaign amoung people at high risk of the virus. pic.twitter.com/cH2lrI1g1B— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) February 23, 2021
A dust storm in the Sahara had forced the aircraft off course on Sunday when it was diverted to Senegal.
Five people have recently died in Guinea from Ebola, the first cases in the region for five years.
Between 2013 and 2016 more than 11,000 people died in the West Africa Ebola epidemic, which began in Guinea.
In response to that epidemic, vaccines were developed, which have since been successfully used to fight outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.