The Government of Cameroon has received the first lot of 158,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccines are the first of 5.3 million doses ordered by the government within the context of the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the African Centre for the Control and Prevention of Illnesses and AFREXIMBANK.
The AVAT initiative, which facilitates group purchases of the vaccine by member states of the African Union, would make 220 million vaccines available with the possibility of ordering more supplementary doses which would be mobilized to Africa.
Antonio Pedro, the Central African Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, who participated at the handing over ceremony of the vaccines on Sunday, August 8, revealed that the choice of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was because it is a one-dose vaccine and patients do not need to get a second dose.
The UN official revealed that another advantage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that it is easily stored and can be conserved even in rural zones and kept in ordinary refrigerators.
Mary Daschbach, the Chargee d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Cameroon, and Dr Mohamed, the Representative of the African Centres for Disease Control (CDC), congratulated the Cameroon government for not sparing any efforts to facilitate access of its populations to vaccines
Mohamed said the CDC is determined to accompany Cameroon in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Professor Louis Richard Ndjock, Secretary-General in the Ministry of Public Health who represented the minister at the ceremony, recalled the actions already undertaken by the government to encourage vaccination and increase total vaccination coverage and guard against a third wave of the pandemic through the Delta variant which is already in Africa.
The chief scribe of the Ministry of Health stressed the need for continued sensitisation of the population, proximity communication, the enlargement of the population targeted for vaccination and the intensification of vaccination operations through the recent intensive vaccination campaign.
He revealed that the intensive vaccination campaign has resulted in the vaccination of 390,000 Cameroonians so far, adding that the campaign saw a progressive adhesion of the population to the idea of getting the jab.
According to him, the 158,000 vaccine doses just received go to add to the 303,000 doses offered to Cameroon by the United States through the COVAX facility on July 21.
The 5,300,000 Johnson & Johnson coronavirus doses ordered by the Cameroon government would be delivered according to the rate of absorption and cost a total of 40 million US dollars.
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