Rwanda among first countries to receive Coronavirus vaccine

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 30 September 2020 at 10:47

Rwanda, like 92 other developing countries, has been approved as one of the countries that will benefit from Coronavirus vaccine under a program called ’COVAX’ of the International Conference on Vaccines, Coronavirus worldwide.

It is expected that at the outset, once the first vaccine is approved, Rwanda will be given a few vaccines, which will focus on protecting people working in the health sector and others who are considered to be most critical.

The first phase will protect about 3% of the population, which means that out of 12.5 million people living in Rwanda today, about 375,000 will be vaccinated against Coronavirus.

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) will also monitor the delivery of these vaccines, advising countries to first vaccinate health workers, as they are among the most likely to be infected with Coronavirus; yet it is not a must, therefore, each country will use the vaccine given to it as it pleases.

It is expected that in the middle of next year, Rwanda will be given other special vaccines, especially those in those categories that may be severely affected by Coronavirus, including elderly people and those with other diseases.

This category is likely to leave more than 10% of the population vaccinated against Coronavirus, and will focus on areas with the highest number of Coronavirus infections. As in Rwanda, Kigali will be given priority in light of the current rate of infection.

Rwanda is also likely to be vaccinated for the third time, in case of severe outbreaks of Coronavirus and there is an inability of its clinics to cope with the severity of the pandemic.

The phase is expected to be completed by the end of next year, at which point the WHO predicts that the pandemic could see its end completely.

The Director General of the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, who recently told IGIHE that the Rwandan government plans to vaccinate at least 25% of the country’s population, saying this could significantly reduce the spreading rate.

At the time, he said, "once the vaccine is available, at least 25% of Rwanda’s population will be vaccinated for more effective results.”

The COVAX Forum is made up of a total of 156 countries, of which 92 developing countries which are eligible for funding, and the other 64 have the ability to multiply vaccinate, and are in the network in order to provide assistance.

All of these countries are home to 64% of the world’s population, so if they achieve their goal, it will help the Earth cope with the spread of Coronavirus. Meanwhile, the United States, China, and Russia are not in the forum.

In order for at least two billion people to be vaccinated against Coronavirus next year, the world needs $ 3.4 billion, of which $ 2 billion is needed no later than this year in order for developing countries to be vaccinated before next year.

Currently, there are about six vaccinations that have reached the third phase of the experiment, which is the last before they are approved and given to the public. It is not yet known when the vaccine will be approved, it is said that it might be released between November and December.

Meanwhile, Russia has announced that its vaccine has been approved and that the country will start giving it to their citizens next month, with more than 100 million expected to receive it. The vaccine, however, has not been approved by WHO.

Critics of COVAX say the way this forum will work will not be productive, for the vaccine is set to be given to countries that do not have high levels of Coronavirus, while countries with high levels of infection should be receiving the special attention.

However, WHO says that even if countries have a small number of infections, they could increase unexpectedly, which is why they need to be addressed early.

The phase is expected to be completed by the end of next year, at which point the WHO predicts that the pandemic could see its end completely.