NAIROBI, 5 March 2021 – Mass inoculation programs against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) have been launched in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda, news reports show Friday.

The three countries received two million doses (Nigeria), just over one million doses (Kenya) and 240,000 doses from the COVAX initaitve on Wednesday.

A Man Gets Inoculated at Masaka Hospital, Kigali, 5 March 2021 - Photo Jean Bizimana, Reuters

A Man is Inoculated at Masaka Hospital, Kigali, 5 March 2021 – Photo Jean Bizimana, Reuters

Kenyan President Flags Off First Consignment - Photo CGTN

Kenyan President Flags Off First Consignment – Photo CGTN

Rwanda received an additional 102,960 doses on Wednesday from the manufacturers of the Pfizer vaccine.

Healthcare professionals, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions are among the first groups to be targeted by the vaccination campaigns in all three countries.

Kenya’s health minister, Patrick Amoth, was the first to be vaccinated while the first jab in Nigeria went to Cyprian Nyong, a doctor who has been taking care of COVID-19 patients since March 2020.

Vaccine Being Fed into Syringe - Photo WHO

A Vaccine Ampoule Being Fed into Syringe Before Vaccination – Photo WHO

Another 150 healthcare workers were inoculated alongside Dr. Nyong in the Nigerian capital, Abuja..

Spokespersons for the Nigerian government have said President Muhammadu Buhari and other senior officials will be vaccinated in public in order to boost confidence in the program.

Inoculation programs are underway since the beginning of the week in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, the first two countries to receive 600,000 and 800,000 doeses respectively of the vaccinnes at the end of February 2020.

Angola, DR Congo, and The Gambia have also received vaccine supplies from COVAX and are expected to launch mass inoculations soon.

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