Faizel Patel – 04/03/2021
Sudan has become the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to receive the COVID-19 vaccines following the arrival of over 800,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Khartoum International Airport.
The vaccines were delivered with UNICEF’s support through COVAX, a coalition co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Global Vaccines Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
The delivery follows the arrival of 4.5 Metric Tons of syringes and safety boxes, part of a Gavi-funded and supported global stockpile, that UNICEF delivered on behalf of the COVAX Facility last week.
The initial consignment of vaccines received on Thursday will support the vaccination of health care workers and people above 45 with chronic medical conditions, living in areas with high transmission or anticipated high transmission, marking the first phase of the nationwide vaccination campaign.
Sudan’s Health Minister Dr. Omer Mohamed Elnagieb thanked all partners who worked together for Sudan to become the first country across the region to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.
“The vaccines are a critical part of controlling the spread of the virus in Sudan and eventually return to normalcy.”
He urged those eligible to register and get vaccinated as soon as they get an appointment.
Senior Country Manager for Sudan at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance says the arrival of the vaccines is good news for the country.
“Through the COVAX Facility, Gavi ensures that all countries have an equal opportunity to access these life-saving vaccines. We continue to work towards leaving no one behind with immunization.”
As of 1 March, Sudan had over 28,505 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,892 associated deaths, since the first COVID-19 positive case was announced on in March last yrear.