DAKAR, 02 March 2021 – One year after the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 case, Senegal will receive a first batch of 324,000 doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed by the Serum Institute of India via the COVAX initiative. UNICEF is procuring these vaccines expected on March 3rd. In preparation for the arrival of these vaccines, UNICEF has also supported the provision of syringes and safety boxes. These are essential supplies to enable the start of the vaccination campaign targeting priority populations.
Senegal is one of the first countries to receive vaccines through the COVAX initiative which will cover 20% of the population prioritizing the most vulnerable, i.e. front-line health workers, persons beyond sixty years old and persons with co-morbidities. An additional 1 million doses will be delivered in the second quarter of 2021 and will be followed by other COVID-19 vaccines deliveries throughout 2021.
COVAX is part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. COVAX is co-led by the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as a key implementing partner for vaccine procurement and delivery.
The goal of the COVAX initiative is to provide nations with equitable and affordable access to safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19, regardless of their income level. It is an international solidarity mechanism set up for the benefit of 92 low- and middle-income countries to collectively and effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
«Vaccines save lives. Immunization of front-line health workers and vulnerable populations will allow a gradual return to normality. This will benefit the entire population, in particular children by promoting access to health, education and protection services. UNICEF is working tirelessly alongside other partners to assist the Government in the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine and the roll-out of the vaccination campaign throughout the country. We must leave no one behind to reach universal health coverage. » said UNICEF Representative Silvia Danailov.
The COVAX initiative aims to deliver 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine across 92 countries by 2021 and to ship more than 14.5 million syringes to more than 30 countries. Even before the pandemic, UNICEF was already the world's largest vaccine buyer, procuring more than 2 billion doses of vaccine each year for nearly half of the world's children under the age of five. In Senegal, since the beginning of the pandemic, the United Nations system, including through technical support from WHO and UNICEF, has been actively engaged in collaboration with other partners and alongside the Ministry of Health and Social Action to support the national response to COVID-19 and to facilitate vaccine delivery. To date, Senegal reports more than 34,000 positive cases of COVID-19, including over 850 deaths.
«Senegal is among the first countries in Africa to receive the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines through the COVAX facility. This holds great promise in the light of the increasing number of new cases of infection and deaths. We are pleased to acknowledge that the COVAX facility has delivered on its promise of global and equitable access to a vaccine that will protect health workers and those at greatest risk of contracting the virus. Only through this global mobilisation can the impact of the pandemic on public health and the economy be mitigated. » Said Dr Lucile Imboua, Représentante Résident de l’OMS.
«The COVAX initiative, in which Senegal is a member, is a further proof that it is only by joining forces that we will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud the efforts of all the partners who have brought new hope for global and equitable access to the vaccines. We also congratulate the Government of Senegal and all partners for the tremendous work of diligent planning, logistics and preparation of a national immunization deployment plan, supported by the United Nations family, which remains committed to ensuring that no one is left behind. We stand together to be vaccinated for our health and that of our loved ones. » said Siaka Coulibaly, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Senegal.
For more information and interview requests, please contact:
Moussa Diop, UNICEF Sénégal, +221 77 644 33 22, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Aliou Diallo, OMS Sénégal, +221 77 299 17 88, email@example.com
Papa Cheikh Saadbu Sakho Jimbira, +221 77 462 29 28 firstname.lastname@example.org
Evan O’Connell, Gavi, l’Alliance du Vaccin, +33 6 17 57 21 26, email@example.com
Sabrina Sidhu, UNICEF New York, +1 917 4761537, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Bisin, UNICEF Dakar, +221 77 819 2300, email@example.com
CEPI Press Office, +44 7387 055214, firstname.lastname@example.org
Moussa Diop Communication Specialist UNICEF Senegal Tel: +221 77 644 33 22 Email: email@example.com
Sabrina Sidhu UNICEF New York Tel: + 1 917-476-1537 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Bisin West and Central Africa Regional Chief of Communication UNICEF Tel: +221 77 819 23 00 Email: email@example.com