For fear of running out of vaccines for its population, Senegal is carrying out a double operation with the Covax mechanism and by conducting negotiations with China, announced the Senegalese Minister of Health.
As part of the international vaccine distribution program created by the World Health Organization (WHO), Senegal will nevertheless begin negotiations with China pending receipt of the first vaccine deliveries.
“Initially, we are awaiting the vaccines from the Covax initiative”, declared the Minister of Health Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr in a video on social networks, “but we are also in discussions with the Chinese side to acquire of Sinopharm vaccines ”.
Talks with Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm relate to 200,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines. With the doses also promised through Covax, Senegal is aiming for a vaccination of 20% of its population of 16 million inhabitants but has not yet set a deadline.
“The number of 200,000 doses is advanced, it is in any case the basis of work”, confirmed the minister concerning the doses wanted by Dakar. The idea is “very soon to acquire these doses to start vaccination,” he adds.
Senegal has been relatively spared from the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, the country has 21,000 cases of contamination and 480 deaths from the virus. The Senegalese Minister of Health specified that health personnel will be vaccinated as a priority, followed by people working in exposed sectors.
The first African country to launch its vaccination campaign with the vaccine developed by Sinopharm is the Seychelles. The Chinese laboratory claims that its vaccine has an effectiveness rate of 79.43%.
Several African countries have also placed orders for the Chinese vaccine developed by the China National Biotec Group (CNBG) subsidiary of Sinopharm, but have not yet received their orders or are in the process of organizing their vaccination campaign.