US News Covid-19: Senegal launches its vaccination and provides doses to its neighbors

18:17  23 february  2021
18:17  23 february  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

Ghana receives the first global delivery of free Covax vaccines

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Le ministre sénégalais de la Santé, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, vacciné contre le Covid-19, le 23 février 2021 © Seyllou The Senegalese Minister of Health, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, vaccinated against Covid-19, February 23, 2021

Senegal launched on Tuesday its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 thanks to the recent acquisition of 200,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, 10% of which were made available to two of its neighbors, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia, observed AFP journalists.

By a mild temperature, fifteen prominent personalities received their first dose of vaccine in the gardens of the Ministry of Health, during a ceremony punctuated with applause and broadcast live on television.

Drawing her syringes from a small blue refrigerated box, a nurse first administered the vaccine to the Minister of Health, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr.

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To "overcome the reluctance of some", according to the minister, she then did the same with the Minister of Women Ndèye Saly Diop Dieng, the former television icon El Hadji Mansour Mbaye or even the star infectious disease specialist Moussa Seydi.

"10% of our batch of 200,000 doses was made available to Guinea Bissau and The Gambia" as a sign of "solidarity", that is to say "10,000 doses for each of the two neighboring countries", revealed Mr. Sarr.

"I'm going to get vaccinated immediately," President Macky Sall told RFI on Tuesday, however, hinting that he would not require a privilege.

The Sinopharm vaccine, which claims to be 79% effective, has already been used in several African countries (Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea), but Senegal is the first in the west of the continent to launch its campaign, which aims first and foremost the 20,000 or so health workers and the elderly.

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The country has been facing an increase in Covid cases since the end of November and has recorded a total of more than 33,000 positive cases and more than 800 deaths. Eighteen new deaths were announced Tuesday, a record since the start of the epidemic.

Senegal also expects to receive doses through the Covax initiative, led by WHO, and is in talks with other countries, including Russia, according to Macky Sall.

The Senegalese president also affirmed to have insisted with Emmanuel Macron on the "pressing demands of Africa", which "expects from its traditional partners, in particular of the G7 countries, that the vaccines are shared".

The French president proposed last Friday that Europe and the United States deliver "as quickly as possible" 13 million doses of vaccines to Africa so that the continent can vaccinate its 6.5 million caregivers.

mrb-lal / siu / sba

Emmanuel Macron wants an expanded "health pass" .
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