As part of renewed efforts towards tackling the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic in its country, the Senegalese government has announced the delivery of 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines purchased from China’s Sinopharm.
The country is also expecting the arrival of 1.3 million vaccine doses from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX initiative.
Speaking during a televised ceremony to mark the occasion, President Macky Sall said that the arrival of the vaccines marks the beginning of many more to come; as the country aims to inoculate around 90% of a targeted 3.5 million people, including health workers and high-risk individuals between the ages of 19 and 60 years old, by the end of 2021.
According to the Senegalese President: “the urgency today is to protect our health workers on the frontline against the pandemic. It is also to protect people over 60 years old and those living with comorbidity. We will begin vaccinating people in these three categories as they are the priority.
We have already started the process of acquiring other batches of the vaccine in the next few weeks, for a total of 6,790,000 doses that will allow us to begin the mass vaccination phase,”- he added.
President Sall who further revealed that the country has received 1,117 WHO-approved freezers which will serve as cold rooms for vaccine storage; called on the Health Minister to undertake all the necessary logistical, financial and social mobilization arrangements for the vaccination campaign launch.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the West African country has so far recorded over 31 thousand confirmed cases of the virus, including 750 deaths.