Rwanda kicks off phase two of Covid-19 vaccination
London, April 3, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Rwanda on Friday commenced the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people who received the first one.
Rwanda’s nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign that kicked off in early March has been employing Pfizer and AstraZeneca, two of the vaccines that require the recipients to get two doses to increase the protection for their bodies against the virus.
After being vaccinated for the first time, recipients of the Pfizer vaccine have to take between 21 to 28 days to get the second shot, as opposed to their counterparts who received AstraZeneca and need to take between 8 to 12 weeks before they can get the second dose.
Referring to the first phase of the inoculation drive, Health Minister, Dr Daniel Ngamije noted that over 290,000 citizens had been vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccine while 51,000 others had received their Pfizer first doses
“Recipients of the Pfizer vaccine are mainly from the city unlike those for AstraZeneca. This is because it requires unique storage conditions which are not yet in other parts of the country.”
However, the Minister also decried that following the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, there has been reluctance among the public, citing a misconception that (one dose of) the vaccine protects them from the virus.
“This is completely false and people should not deceive themselves. The vaccines are meant to help our bodies fight the virus, leave alone the first shot even the second (one) doesn’t assure us of normalcy. The only weapon against this pandemic is through observing the preventative measures.
Speaking to newsmen, Julien Niyingabira, the Head of Rwanda Health Communication Centre, said the details of those who were inoculated during the first round were stored digitally and are available to medics at various stations where the vaccination exercises will be taking place.
Due to this, there is no need for a person to go back to the same place where they were vaccinated or meet with the exact people who vaccinated them.
The second dose increases protection against the virus, and according to medics, it is important not to miss it. If a person completely misses it, this may mean that he or she will have to repeat it all over again