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Senegal launched its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on Tuesday thanks to the recent acquisition of 200,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, 10% of which were made available to two neighboring countries, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia.
Senegal launched its coronavirus vaccination campaign on Tuesday, February 23, thanks to the recent acquisition of 200,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. But 10% of these doses were made available to two neighboring countries, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia, as a sign of “solidarity”.
In a mild temperature, about 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.
>> To see, our interview with Macky Sall: “The Chinese vaccine is the first which was available”
Drawing her syringes from a small blue refrigerated box, a nurse first administered the vaccine to the Minister of Health, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr.
To “overcome the reluctance of some”, according to the minister, she then did the same with the Minister for 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”, or “10,000 doses for each of the two neighboring countries”, revealed Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr.
“I will be vaccinated immediately,” for his part said Tuesday on France 24 and RFI President Macky Sall, suggesting, however, 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. This primarily targets the 20,000 or so health workers and the elderly.
The country has been facing an increase in Covid-19 cases since the end of November and has recorded a total of more than 33,000 positive cases and more than 800 deaths; 18 new deaths were announced on Tuesday, a record since the start of the epidemic.
“Urgent demands from Africa”
Senegal also expects to receive doses through the WHO-led Covax initiative 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 of its traditional partners, in particular of the G7 countries, that the vaccines be 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.