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Coronavirus: About 300,000 additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines for Senegal

Senegal has received today 298,700 additional doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, donated by the Government of Portugal through the COVAX facility. The vaccine doses were officially received at the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) depot in Dakar, in the presence of the Minister of Health and Social Action, Mr Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Cooperation of Portugal, Mr Francisco André, and COVAX partners including WHO and UNICEF.

This new batch of vaccines comes at a critical time and coincides with the moment leaders in Africa are mobilizing for equitable access to vaccines in the world. Across Africa, celebrities and influencers were signing and sharing an open letter calling on rich country leaders to honour their promises to urgently deliver doses for Africa. Portugal thus joins the list of countries that support equitable access to vaccines by mobilizing additional doses for Senegal.

Senegal is the first country, aside from the traditional partners of the Portuguese cooperation, to receive vaccines from Portugal

“Senegal is the first country, aside from the traditional partners of the Portuguese cooperation, to receive vaccines from Portugal. Bringing Portugal’s contribution to the Senegalese people in this fight against COVID-19, I am in Dakar today to demonstrate our solidarity. This delivery of 298,700 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine,as part of the COVAX initiative, will allow Senegal to move forward in the vaccination process, reflecting the very strong ties between our two peoples” declared Mr Francisco André.

The COVAX facility is an international solidarity mechanism set up for low and lower middle income countries to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. Through this mechanism, Senegal has already received several batches of vaccines from the United States, France, China, the United Kingdom, Belgium and now from Portugal. This new batch will increase the availability of vaccines and will allow to scale up vaccinations in the country. As of October 17, 2021, more than 1.279.885 million people have been vaccinated in Senegal.

“Vaccines allow us to come together, shoulder to shoulder – in schools, communities and places of worship. They are the best hope we have of ending the COVID-19 pandemic” said Georges Gonzales, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Senegal. UNICEF commended the mark of solidarity expressed by the Government of Portugal for equitable access to vaccines. “The path out of the pandemic is clear. But we can only get out together” he added.

As a key COVAX partner, UNICEF is leading the procurement and supply of vaccines and is responsible for ensuring that countries are ready and prepared to receive and deliver the vaccines. UNICEF is working with the government to strengthen and prepare supply chains within the country, training health workers, building trust in vaccines by engaging with communities, and addressing misinformation and other barriers.

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