Rwanda receives first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines

On 3 March 2021 at 07:23

Rwanda has received the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines comprised of 240,000 AstraZeneca doses as the country awaits more Pfizer-BioNTech doses.

The vaccines are distributed through COVAX, a global initiative aimed at working with vaccine producers to provide countries worldwide with equitable access to safe and effective vaccine.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, codenamed AZD1222, is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca given by intramuscular injection.

One dosing regimen showed 90% efficacy when a half-dose was followed by a full-dose after at least one month, based on mixed trials with no participants over 55 years old.

Another dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses separated by at least one month.

On 30 December 2020, the vaccine was approved for use in the United Kingdom’s vaccination programme, and the first vaccination outside of a trial was administered on 4th January 2021.

As he received vaccines, the Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije said that vaccination program has already started in Rwanda.

“We plan to vaccinate 7.8 million Rwandans. You know that many countries need vaccines but we are doing all the necessary to get them to vaccinate Rwandans as soon as we can and return to normalcy,” he said.

Dr. Ngamije has revealed that targeted people to be vaccinated effective from 5th March 2021 include health workers, frontline worker, elders above the age of 65 living with chronic diseases are.

He highlighted that 7.8 million Rwandans will have been vaccinated not later than June 2022.

Received vaccines will be distributed countrywide effective Thursday 4th February 2021 whereby targeted persons will be communicated to get vaccinated at health centers.

Rwanda also awaits 102 960 Pfizer vaccines today evening while more 500,000 vaccines are expected next week.

The country will receive batches of vaccines every month in proportion to the number of people to be vaccinated.

So far, a total of 249 million vaccines have been distributed globally.

The first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived at Kigali International Airport onboard Qatar aircraft.