Rwanda will get a donation of no fewer than four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from China in 2022, a statement has said.
The statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, said that Rao Hongwei, the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, announced the donation in a phone call with the African country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Vincent Biruta.
The statement read, “Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, China has been vigorously promoting international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic and helping developing countries, including Rwanda, obtain Covid-19 vaccines.
“At the just-concluded eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged another 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines for Africa countries.
“As the Omicron variant is rapidly spreading around the globe, China actively implements President Xi’s commitment and decides to donate an additional 4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Rwanda, to further support the Rwandan side in speeding up national vaccination program and better-protecting people’s health and safety.”
The statement added that the envoy also congratulated Rwanda on achieving the goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its population in 2021.
Biruta, for his part, expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for the vaccine donation, saying that the Asian nation contributed to Rwanda’s success last year in reaching vaccination targets.
He noted that the assistance will boost Rwanda’s confidence in the Covid-19 response, improve vaccination rates, and reach the vaccination goal of 70% by mid-2022.
Over 120 countries and international organizations have received more than 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines from China as of the end of 2021, making it the world’s leading outbound vaccine supplier.
More than 7.8 million Rwandans have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while more than 5.6 million have received two doses.
A booster dose has been administered to 408,771 people as of Wednesday.
The Ministry of Health expanded the vaccination programme to children aged 12 and older last November, and the government is now investigating the possibility of administering the Covid-19 vaccine to children under 12 years old.
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