I will be glad to be vaccinated first- says Minister Ngamije

On 5 February 2021 at 10:24

The Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije has said that Rwanda has no worries that citizens might refuse to take Covid-19 vaccine highlighting that he is ready to be vaccinated first to allay fears of those thinking it might have side effects.

The Minister made the revelation yesterday during a press briefing revolving around Africa’s readiness to distribute Covid-19 vaccine.

The conference featured different participants including the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti; Minister Ngamije and his counterpart of Malawi, Khumbize Kandondo Chiponda as well as Richard Mihigo, WHO Africa immunization coordinator.

Dr. Ngamije said that Rwanda is prepared enough to receive the vaccine expected to help the country enhance COVID-19 management.

“We are pleased that we will be able to vaccinate medical doctors, nurses, community health workers and others facilitating enforcement of Covid-19 preventive measures. Acquiring the vaccine gives us hope to reduce Covid-19 deaths,” he said.

Minister Ngamije recently explained that Rwanda expects to receive the first batch of 102,000 vaccines by 15th February 2021.

The vaccines in the first batch manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech, will also be distributed to other African countries including Tunisia, South Africa and Cap Vert.

As Rwanda gets ready to receive vaccines, some citizens have expressed concern that their beliefs do not allow to take these vaccines.

Ngamije said that citizens must be educated before getting vaccinated.

“The good thing is that they trust health services in the country. This is not the first vaccine we are introducing. They clearly understand that we have thorough management system. There is an independent, Food and Drug Authority (FDA) that was also involved in the process of approving the vaccine. It makes citizens trust the vaccine meets standards,” he said.

On 3rd February 2021, Rwanda’s health workers attended discussions with one of experts at Yale University who carried out research on Pfizer vaccine. He shared information to be passed to colleagues.

“Health workers need to share authentic information because they can be the right source. We shall work with leaders as usual because we integrate various institutions in such campaigns. We have no worries that citizens will reject the vaccine. I will be glad to be vaccinated first to give an example,” said Ngamije.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti also highlighted that they are working with UNICEF, among other partners, to share credible information about the vaccine.

Rwanda targets to vaccinate 60% of its population this year and continues to mobilize funds to cover more citizens.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije.