Cote d’Ivoire on Friday received 504,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and will start a free and voluntary inoculation campaign on March 1, 2021.The vaccines were received at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport in Abidjan by the Ivorian Minister of Health and Public Hygiene, Aka Aouelé together with members of the Covax mechanism including Gavi, Cepi, Unicef and WHO.
“Until the end of the first quarter of 2021, Cote d’Ivoire will receive more than 2.4 million doses of vaccine,” Aka Aouelé said, indicating that initially announced for 15 March, the campaign starts on March 1, 2021.
The official launch of the campaign is scheduled for Monday at the Abidjan Sports Park with “priority targets the Defence and Security Forces, teachers, people over 50 years old and people with chronic diseases.”
The health minister stressed that “vaccination is free and voluntary.”
The Director General of Health, Mamadou Samba added that it will then target people between 18 and 49 years of age.
The vaccine from the eponymous pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca, created from the April 1999 merger of Sweden’s Astra and Britain’s Zeneca, will be administered in two doses in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Cote d’Ivoire is benefiting from these doses of vaccine as part of the Covax initiative.
After Ghana, the country becomes the second African state to receive doses of Covid-19 vaccine delivered via the Covax mechanism.
The total cost of the deployment plan for the first round of this vaccine is estimated at 104.217 billion CFA francs of which 86.27 billion is for the purchase of vaccines and inputs and 17.94 billion for operational costs.
For this first phase, vaccination will only concern the Autonomous District of Abidjan, as the Ivorian economic capital is the epicentre of the epidemic in Cote d’Ivoire accounting for 95 percent of the cases.