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African nations set to receive Covid-19 vaccines via Covax

Kenya and Nigeria are the two African countries set to receive Covid-19 vaccines by Tuesday via Covax, the global vaccine-sharing programme.

The two countries will become the third and the fourth countries in Africa to receive the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, made by the Serum Institute of India and shipped via the Covax facility.

Kenya will receive 1.02 million doses of the vaccine tomorrow, according to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.

Kagwe said the healthcare workers in 47 counties are among those who will get the jab first. Frontline workers like security personnel and teachers are also on the priority list.

“Healthcare workers and other frontline workers in 47 counties will receive the vaccine in the county referral hospitals,” said Kagwe.

Nigeria will also receive 3.92m vaccine doses, becoming the fourth African country to benefit from the Covax facility.

Nigeria has so far registered 155,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,905 deaths.

On Monday, Ivory Coast became the second country to receive a shipment of vaccines via the global vaccine-sharing programme aiming at equity in eliminating the virus.

The vaccines, 504,000 doses arrived on Friday in the commercial capital, Abidjan, paving way for the West African nation to launch a vaccination campaign.

Ghana was the first country to get the Covax shipment last week, marking the start of what the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF termed the “largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history”.

The Country received the first batch of 600,000 doses on Wednesday.

According to WHO Africa, around 24 more countries are expected to start receiving vaccines via Covax next week.

Covax facility aims at delivering at least 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

Covax is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others to help end the acute phase of the pandemic by enabling global equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.