#COVID19: DR Congo Receives 250,380 Vaccines From US

This is the second time DR Congo is receiving COVID-19 vaccines from the U.S. through the COVAX initiative.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has received 250,380 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States government under the auspices of the COVAX initiative. 

This is the second consignment of vaccines donated by the American government to the DR Congo coming a few weeks after the reception of 250,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

The official handing over ceremony on Monday, Sept. 27,  took place at the storage centre of the Enlarged Vaccination Programme (EVP) at the N’sele council in the presence of country representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Director of the EVP as well as technical and financial partners of the health sector.

Mike Hammer, the U.S. Ambassador to DR Congo, represented his government at the ceremony while Veronique Kilumba Nkulu, the DR Congo Vice Minister of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention, represented the host government.

Speaking at the ceremony, Veronique Kilumba Nkulu said the idea was to make sure that efficacious vaccines against the COVID-19 were available to the most vulnerable people globally.

According to her, the unequal access to vaccines between the developed and developing countries was not only at the heart of a sentiment of injustice but also constitutes a health risk to the world.

“Nobody would be secure when the world is not secure. We can only succeed through international cooperation and through multilateral organizations. This Pfizer vaccine received today is a donation of the United States of America and it is within the context of the mechanism of sharing doses,” Nkulu  said. 

“This programme of facilitation thus permits the less endowed countries to gain access to vaccines. I have the honour to receive the first supply made up of 250,380 doses including diluents.”

The Vice Minister expressed her gratitude to the COVAX initiative for the salutary support to the Congolese people and to the United States for having responded to the vaccine needs of DR Congo.

“To our head of state, every Congolese wherever he/she is found, must benefit from this vaccinal intervention which today has shown its efficacy in the decline of this pandemic,” Nkulu said, adding that the vaccines received from the Americans would be distributed to health facilities to be administered to Congolese aged eighteen years and above.

“I call on the Congolese population to get themselves vaccinated and to observe the barrier measures put in place by the government in order to stop the propagation of the Covid-19 because to be vaccinated is to be protected.”

The vaccine donations are in line with the efforts by the Biden-Harris administration to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. will provide at least 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa out of the 80 million doses intended for distribution worldwide.

The repartition of the vaccines was decided in collaboration with the African Union, the African Centres for Disease Control and COVAX.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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