The Democratic Republic of Congo is to officially launch “a symbolic vaccination campaign” on March 12.
This follows the validation of a deployment plan for the COVID-19 vaccine in the country after the reception of a consignment of 1.7 million doses of the vaccine Tuesday, March 2. The 1.7 million vaccines are the first lot of a total of 6 million doses being expected.
Sources in the Congolese Ministry of Health told HumAngle in Kinshasa Wednesday that DR Congo intends to vaccinate 20 per cent of its population based on the analysis of the epidemiological statistics and orientations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The priority targets would be health personnel who represent 1 per cent of those to receive the first vaccines, persons who are older than 55 years who represent 6 per cent and persons suffering from comorbidities such as kidney diseases, hypertension and diabetes who represent 13 per cent of the targeted persons.
The official launching of the operation would be held on Friday, March 12, involving health and political authorities while waiting for the deployment of the vaccines to the targeted areas.
The first targeted areas are the zones most hit by the pandemic, which includes Kinshasa, North Kivu, Kongo-Central and Upper Katanga.
The operation has been made possible thanks to the COVAX project which aims at accelerating access to coronavirus vaccines for poorer countries.
COVAX is co-directed by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization all of which work in partnership with the manufacturers of the vaccines, the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, and developing countries.
COVAX is the only global initiative working with governments and vaccine manufacturers to guarantee that COVID-19 vaccines are available for developing countries.