On the 15th of March, the government of Somalia received the first batch of the Oxford Astrazaneca vaccine. The government received a total of 300,000 doses out of the 1,200,000 free doses donated by the United Nations, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The vaccinations were handed over to the Minister of Health Dr. Fawziya Abikar Nur whose ministry will oversee the roll-out of the vaccine. “The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines happens at a critical time as Somalia is now experiencing a new wave of the pandemic”, the minister said in a statement.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia James Swan who was present at the handover stated that the UN is “committed to support the government of Somalia to reach out to the most vulnerable groups and font-line workers to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained”.
According to the Ministry of Health, the new wave is believed to have started in Somalia at the beginning of February when a total of 1,432 new cases were reported in the span of three weeks in Mogadishu alone.
[Picture via Twitter]