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Covid 19: UN helps deliver vaccines to Africa

The United Nations has delivered millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Africa through the COVAX initiative, a global mechanism for the purchase and delivery of vaccines for low- and middle-income countries, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Vaccines have already arrived in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gambia, Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

More than 1 million doses shipped by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) arrived in Kenya on Wednesday. The vaccination campaign will start on Friday in this country, he said at a daily press briefing in New York.

Rwanda, for its part, received 340,000 doses, a delivery that was hailed by UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda Fode Ndiaye as a historic moment, which will help restore hope to Rwandans and revive the country’s economy.

Senegal, for its part, has received 320,000 doses, which will help the authorities achieve their goal of vaccinating 20% of the population, he added.

The DRC has received more than 1.7 million doses thanks to the support of the UN team.

In Gambia, a first batch of 36,000 doses obtained through the COVAX mechanism arrived Tuesday evening. With the support of the UN team, the government is preparing to start vaccinating health workers, people with underlying health problems and people aged 65 and over.

More than 620,000 doses arrived in Angola on Tuesday thanks to UN support. This will help cover about 10 percent of the needs of the first phase of the country’s immunization plan. Angola’s immunisation effort began Tuesday with a 71-year-old woman receiving her first dose of the vaccine, the spokesman said.

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