PRAIA, 10 January 2021 – Seychelles on Sunday started inoculating its population against the new coronavirus, becoming the second African country to do so after Guinea.
Last month, Guinea secured a very limited supply of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and started vaccination on an experimental basis on New Year Day 2021.
Seychelles President Wavel Rankalawan was the first Seychellois to be inoculated on Sunday with state television broadcasting the event “live”.
“It’s exactly as if I was getting any (other) vaccine,” Ramkalawan told reporters.
The “live” inoculation was organized as part of efforts by Seychelles to get as many of its citizens inoculated as pssible.
Seychelles received a donation of 50,000 doses of Chinese-made vaccines from the United Arab Emirates.
Guinea secured only 58 doses of the the Russian vaccine, according to Dr. Sakoba Keita, director general of Guinea’s National Health Security Agency.
Conakry has said it is prioritizing the vaccination of a few government officials in the experimental phase of the inoculation.
The Guinean government has said it has sent a letter to Russia requesting two million doses of the Russian Sputnik V to inoculate part of its 13 million inhabitants.
It is unclear if Guinean President Alpha Conde was vaccinated.
The country’s defense minister, Mohamed Diane, was the first to receive the vaccine at an event broadcast “live” on state-owned television.
Guinea’s Territorial Administration and Decentralization Minister Gen. Bourema Conde along with Guinea’s President of the National Assembly, Amadou Damaro Camara, were also inoculated on “live” television.
In Seychelles, the vaccination of healthcare workers is prioirized and is set to begin Monday.
People older than 65 will be next in line, with the rest of the population following in the third phase.
Praia says it plans to inoculate 70 percent of the country’s 98,000 inhabitants within a period of three months at a rate of about 1,000 people vaccinated a day.
As of Sunday, Seychelles had recorded 800 cases of COVID-19, with one fatality.
Guinea has recorded 13,942 cases of COVID-19 for 81 deaths and 13,223 documented recoveries.
On Saturday, the island nation recorded its highest number of infections in a single day, at 57.