Rwanda considers using Johnson & Johnson vaccine

By IGIHE
On 22 March 2021 at 11:19

The Government of Rwanda has hinted on the possibility of acquiring Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine manufactured from the United States of America (USA) to complement existing national vaccination efforts in coming days.

Rwanda has recently received 392,000 COVID-19 vaccines in three batches including doses received through Covax initiative and donations from India.
Since 5th March 2021, Rwanda kicked off countrywide inoculation program administering Pfizer and AstraZeneca doses.

To date, figures show that over 333,000 people have been vaccinated, a very small number comparatively to the country’s population

The Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana recently said that Rwanda might start using Johnson & Johnson vaccines in a bid to move fast the vaccination program.

He revealed this on Friday during a ceremony to award outstanding contestants in ‘Innovation Accelerator’ (iAccelerator) program.

The Innovation Accelerator (iAccelerator) is a mentorship driven acceleration programme, supporting young entrepreneurs with seed funding, training and skills development to generate innovative solutions in response to challenges related to sexual and reproductive health, sexuality education, family planning, maternal health and other population development issues.

One of participants asked Dr. Nsanzimana if Rwanda plans to use Johnson & Johnson vaccine to fast track inoculation program and cover 60% of the population targeted to be vaccinated by June 2022.

In his response, Dr. Nsanzimana explained that the country has not yet started discussions with manufacturers but assured that the vaccine might be added to the list of vaccines administered in Rwanda.

“The vaccine [Johnson &Johnson] might also be added to the ones we already have. It has not yet arrived, we have neither had agreements with manufacturers nor tested it but it is a promising vaccine in countries that started administering it,” he said.

With the efficacy of 72%, Johnson&Johnson is the only vaccine that requires one dose. USA started administering it in February 2021.

IGIHE has learnt that Rwanda is holding discussions seeking ways to acquire more vaccines.

The Government of Rwanda has hinted on the possibility of acquiring Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine manufactured from the United States of America.

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