Rwanda unveils COVID-19 vaccination program

On 15 February 2021 at 07:39

Rwanda has begun COVID-19 vaccination program starting with high risk groups including health workers.

The development was announced on Sunday by the Ministry of Health via Twitter account.

The Ministry also revealed that the country is using limited quantities acquired through international partnerships.

“The Ministry of Health’s National Vaccination Program has begun vaccinating high-risk groups, notably frontline healthcare staff, with WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines acquired through international partnerships in limited quantities,” reads the statement.

The statement released yesterday also shows that the initial vaccination program will be followed by a wider roll-out in the same month.

“This initial phase will be followed by a wider roll-out this month with supplies expected from the COVAX Facility and the AU’s Africa Medical Supplies Platform. Rwanda’s COVID-19 vaccination plan is ready, with infrastructure, protocols, and personnel in place,” adds the statement.

IGIHE has learnt that King Faisal Hospital staff and players of the National Football Team, Amabuvi are among people who have been already vaccinated.

Rwanda is among four African countries expected to receive the first batch of vaccines through COVAX initiative. These include Cape Verde, Tunisia and South Africa.

The confirmation followed an assessment by World Health Organization (WHO) which established that Rwanda is prepared enough to administer vaccines.

Rwanda recently received five ultra-cold freezers with the capacity to store and freeze all types of Coronavirus vaccines.

These fridges can freeze vaccines at minus 70 and 86 degree Celsius. It is expected that Rwanda will have received 1,098,960 vaccines by February 2021 to vaccinate 549 480 people.

It was expected that health practitioners, patients with incurable diseases like blood pressure, diabetes and asthma among other respiratory diseases would be among the first group to be vaccinated in the first phase along with elders above 65 years and people whose line of duty puts them in a susceptible position.

The cost to vaccinate 60% of Rwandans is estimated at US$124 million (Rwf 121 billion).