Coronavirus: Liberia Receives Second Batch of 96,000 Doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine
Over 75,000 Liberians awaiting their second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can now be sure as the government of Liberia on 20th August 2021 received a second batch of 96,000 doses. The vaccines were donated by the French Government through the COVAX Facility in collaboration with the European Union to help achieve the goal of an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally.
The event was witnessed by senior government Officials, Heads of UN Agencies including WHO and UNICEF, Health Partners, the Chairperson on Health at the House of Legislature and the Media.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Mr. Hughes Nagy, Acting Head of Mission, Embassy of France congratulated the government of Liberia and all the COVAX partners for their involvement in the fight against this pandemic and for universal access to vaccines.
“Today, France is very happy to deliver 96 000 doses of vaccine to Liberia to continue its vaccination campaign. These donations to COVAX are part of the more global effort of the Europe team in favor of this mechanism aimed at ensuring a concrete vaccine solidarity” Mr. Nagy said.
He added that France is working, and will continue to work, together with Liberia to ensure that safe and effective vaccines are widely available throughout the country.
“The challenge is to address vaccine hesitancy in the population and to work hard in convincing the public to get vaccinated as one of the surest and fastest way out of this pandemic” Mr Nagy added.
Commending the gesture of the French government, the Acting WHO Representative in Liberia Dr. Zabulon Yoti, praised the government of Liberia for the level of leadership demonstrated in the national COVID-19 response efforts. “Our targets are to vaccinate at least 10% of the population of every country by September, at least 40% by the end of the year, and 70% globally by the middle of next year. These are the critical milestones we must reach together to reduce deaths and disruption due to the pandemic” Dr Yoti said.
Dr. Yoti reminded the public that being vaccinated does not mean quitting the other COVID-19 preventive measures which may put ourselves and others at risk. He said relaxing public health interventions should be done cautiously and with careful attention paid to those who remain unvaccinated.
“ Vaccines quality, safety and efficacy remains one of WHO’s highest priorities therefore, WHO will continue to work closely with national authorities to ensure that global norms and standards are developed and implemented to assess the quality, safety and efficacy of vaccines, “ He reassured the public .
Receiving the vaccine on behalf of the Government of Liberia, Assistant Minister for International Corporation and Economic Affairs, Mr. Sherdrick Johnson thanked the French Government for the donation and the COVAX facility for ensuring that vaccines are delivered to Liberia.
“This donation comes at a time when our people are eager to receive their second dose and we as a country is striving towards reaching the global target of vaccinating 10 % of our population by September” Min. Johnson said.
For her part, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said the contribution from the French government gives additional strength to Liberia’s fight against COVID-19. She said the vaccines will be deployed to the various vaccination sites immediately for administration to Liberians due for their second dose.
“All the vaccines received by the government – (AstraZeneca and Janssen's Johnson and Johnson) are safe therefore, all who are yet to receive the vaccine should do so” Dr. Jallah added.
Together with the full new batch, the overall amount of the vaccines received through COVAX reached 494,400 doses as 96,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 302,400 doses of Johnson and Johnson were received earlier.
COVAX is co-led by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, civil society organizations, manufacturers, and others.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization – Liberia.
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