DJIBOUTI CITY, 9 March 2021 – Djibouti has become the second country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, to receive vaccines against COVID-19.

The first shipment of AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India (SII) vaccine were received at the Djibouti International Airport last February 27.

Vaccine Ampoule Filled into Syringe - Photo PaHO

Vaccine Ampoule Filled into Syringe – Photo PaHO

Health care workers, people over 50 years of age and people with comorbidities are being prioritized in the ongoing inoculation program in the Horn of Africa nation.

The vaccines from COVAX were delivered with UNICEF’s support, officials in Djibouti City said Tuesday.

COVAX is the global initiative aimed at promoting access to vaccines.

It is led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

The first batch of Oxford/AstraZenica COVID-19 vaccine doses - Photo Kola Sulaimon, AFP

The first batch of Oxford/AstraZenica COVID-19 vaccine doses – Photo Kola Sulaimon, AFP

“The vaccines are a critical part of controlling the spread of the virus and our eventual return to normalcy,” said Djibouti’s Health Minister, Mohamed Warsama Dirieh.

He urged those eligible, to register and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Djibouti on March 18 last year, Djibouti has confirmed 6,102 positive cases of COVID-19 with 63 deaths due to the complications from being infected with the virus.

The next consignment of COVAX-sourced vaccine doses for Djibouti are expected to arrive in the country during second quarter of 2021.

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