The first administration of vaccine jabs in Africa has kicked off in Ivory Coast following the launch of vaccination with doses from the COVAX sharing facility on Monday.
The country’s secretary-general at the presidency, Patrick Achi received the first shot, followed by medical personnel, teachers and security forces members as part of the first phase of the campaign targeting 3 percent of the population.
504,000 of the AstraZeneca vaccine doses arrived in the commercial capital of Abidjan on Friday through the global facility’s provision of coverage to 20 percent of populations in lower-middle-income.
After the first phase, it plans to expand access to people over 50, those with chronic diseases and travellers.
Africa has reported relatively few COVID-19 deaths compared to other continents, but the death toll has been rising fast as the second wave of infections overwhelms hospitals.
Ivory Coast’s neighbour Ghana, which last week became the first country to receive delivery of vaccines from COVAX, plans to officially begin its vaccination campaign on Tuesday.
On Monday, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and his wife received the vaccine at a military hospital in an effort to boost public confidence ahead of the campaign.