Djibouti is the second country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to receive COVID-19 vaccines following the arrival of a first shipment of AstraZeneca / Serum Institute of India (SII) vaccine to the international airport of Djibouti. The vaccines were delivered with the support of UNICEF through COVAX, a coalition co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) that ensures a fair and equitable distribution of COVID-19. vaccines to countries regardless of their income.
The delivery follows the arrival of a quantity of syringes, part of a global stockpile funded and supported by Gavi, which UNICEF delivered on behalf of the COVAX Facility last Saturday 27e February 2021. WHO worked with national authorities to put in place a vaccination strategy that includes training of vaccinators, ensuring vaccine safety and monitoring for adverse reactions.
This first shipment of vaccines will support the vaccination of health workers, people over 50 and people with co-morbidities.
Through this contribution and Djibouti’s commitment to continue its efforts to curb and end the pandemic, the country aims to ensure the continuity of facilities and access to essential services.
“Vaccines are an essential part of controlling the spread of the virus and our eventual return to normalcy,” said HE Mohamed Warsama Dirieh. He urged those eligible to register and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Overall, Djibouti was able to contain the spread of the virus in the country thanks to preventive actions. The country has 6,102 people diagnosed positive for COVID-19 with 63 deaths due to infection with this virus, and this since the appearance of the first case in Djibouti on March 18, 2020.
“Today is a new phase against COVID-19 in Djibouti, thanks to the COVAX facility, the contribution of GAVI and the commitment of the Djiboutian authorities. We and all partners look forward to starting immunization of eligible people to ensure maximum protection of the population and end this pandemic and return to normal life, ”said Melva Johnson, UNICEF representative at Djibouti.
“The arrival of these vaccines marks a new phase in the ongoing response to COVID-19 in Djibouti. The more people who are vaccinated, the more effective the vaccines will be at slowing the spread of the virus, lowering infection rates and protecting society as a whole. But we must always remember that vaccinations only work when combined with all other public health strategies, ”said Dr Mondher Letaief, WHO Representative in Djibouti.
“It is beyond excitement to know that COVAX vaccines are landing in Djibouti. Thank you to all Djiboutians and partners who worked without defeat to take this first step. This is just the beginning; we will deliver vaccines to all those who need them ”, declared Ricard Lacort GAVI Senior Country Manager for Afghanistan and Djibouti
With support from Gavi, WHO and UNICEF will work with the government of Djibouti to launch and roll out the national immunization campaign to reach all eligible people with vaccines.
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