Sierra Leone receives 951,490 COVID-19 vaccines from 4 pharmaceutical companies
Sierra Leone, Freetown: The Director of EPI, Dr. Tom Sesay, who also doubles as the pillar head of vaccination at the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre (NaCOVERC), says Sierra Leone has so far received a total of 951,490 doses of vaccines from four partners and pharmaceutical companies including, SinoPharm, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and the Pfizer vaccines respectively.
Dr. Sesay disclosed this at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation conference room in Freetown, yesterday 13th September 2021. He says the 113,490 doses of Pfizer is a double dose requirement vaccine from the United States government through the COVAX Facility, and is the second batch of donations following the 151,200 vials of the Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccines and is the fourth set of vaccines to have arrived in the country.
He says as a country, they are expecting a total of 400,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines of which, 113,490 represents 28.4 percent which has been received, remaining 266,510 or 66.6 percent. He says there was a time when people were waiting in the queue to be vaccinated but there were not enough vaccines but with the available vaccines now in the country, they will ensure to roll it out in the ongoing exercise.
Sesay says the first nationwide vaccination surge was successful seeing 120,000 vaccines being administered within 10 days. Since there are more vaccines in country now, he said, they are planning for the second surge so as to be able to ensure more people are vaccinated.
He disclosed that the ministry has launched the vaccination exercise for all school teachers in the country, after they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), for the vaccination of all players, officials and spectators as requirement for entering a football venue.
So far he said, a total of 301,000 persons have taken their first jabs while 71,620 have taken their second doses, which according to him, is progressive and commendable strides.
The UNICEF Deputy Representative, Liv Elin Indreiten, said globally and in Sierra Leone, COVID-19 has disrupted delivery of essential services and continues to claim lives and disrupt livelihoods. She stated that the recent experience with the third wave reminded all of the need to continue, to sustain, and expand the COVID-19 response hence, the importance of accelerating vaccination efforts to prevent the possible future wave.
The UNICEF rep. said they appreciate the solidarity exhibited by the US government, COVAX and all other partners to together end the COVID-19 pandemic. She recognised the contributions made by the African Union through the COVAX Facility, the government of China, the combined efforts of all partners for the delivery of up to 951,590 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Sierra Leone.
The WHO Country Representative, Dr. Steven Shongwe, says the Pfizer vaccine is one of the seven vaccines which are approved for use by the WHO in protecting people against COVID-19. He says two doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been found by the health experts to be effective in providing adults with the required protection from COVID-19 illnesses or death. MK/14/9/2021
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