Madagascar finally abandons herbal remedy, acquires 4 vaccines for mass COVID-19 vaccination
London, April 20, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Madagascar is now going for covid vaccines and has finally abandoned its herbal remedy and in negotiation to acquire four different covid-19 vaccine to tackle its growing pandemic
On Monday, move was finally confirmed by President Andry Rajoelina who announced through twitter that the island nation is acquiring the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm vaccine alongside three other vaccines to be used during its planned mass COVID-19 vaccination drive.
Suite à la réunion de ce jour avec les Membres de l’Académie Nationale de Médecine de #Madagascar (ANAMEN) 4 vaccins ont été retenus:— Andry Rajoelina (@SE_Rajoelina) April 19, 2021
L’utilisation des vaccins devrait être adaptée à chaque cas et chaque région touchée. pic.twitter.com/1QdQaV2CrB
The other three are the single-shot vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech and AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine.
The island nation officially joined the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX program on April 1 in a move to procure COVID-19 vaccines for its population.
The Madagascar government initially avoided the coronavirus vaccines, instead fronting a herbal remedy for the disease that has killed more than 3 million people globally.
Hospitals in Madagascar have been struggling to cope with a surge of Covid-19 cases, while the president has for long been promoting an unproven product he says can cure the disease despite the World Health Organization (WHO) warning against using untested remedies.
By Monday, the island nation had recorded 32,798 infections with 552, and is seeking to contain a third wave of the virus.
“The use of vaccines should be adapted to each case and each affected region,” said Rajoelina.
He noted that the vaccination drive will initially prioritize healthcare workers and the elderly.
He added that the country would not wait to obtain the vaccines through COVAX, but will also seek other avenues to ensure the mass vaccinations begin soon.
The latest change of heart by the authorities in Madagascar would be good news to WHO that has consistently said that there is “no short-cuts” to finding effective mediation to fight coronavirus and oppose “self-medication with any medicines… as a prevention or cure for Covid-19”.