Burkina Faso has received a shipment of more than 150,000 Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines doses from the U.S. this week.
A gift from the U.S. through the Covax initiative should help speed up vaccination in Burkina Faso which like other countries of the continent suffers from vaccines shortages.
During the handing over ceremony, Burkina Faso Health Minister Prof. Charlemagne Ouedraogo alongside U.S. ambassador to Burkina Faso Sandra Clark emphasized that “vaccination is voluntary. We are going to continue sensitization efforts so that we have community acceptance and commitment towards vaccination. We are doing it in the interest of the people,”
According to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccination levels across Africa are still very low, with less than 2% of the continent’s population of 1.3 billion have received at least one shot,
To help alleviate the vaccine shortage on the continent, the U.S. has begun delivering the first batches of 25 million doses of vaccines it is sharing with the African Union.
Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Gambia are amongst the first nations to get the Janssen jab. Ethiopia and Djibouti are also receiving doses.
The effort has delivered only 200 million vaccines globally since February, while the U.S. alone has administered more than 338 million doses.
Most of the promised doses won’t arrive until next year and although Group of Seven countries pledged to donate a billion COVID-19 vaccines, that is far short of the 11 billion WHO says are needed to protect the world.
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