Mbabane: After halting the roll-out of Oxford/AstraZeneca on February 8, 2021, the Kingdom of Eswatini has swiftly returned to the long wait again for the 108 000 AstraZeneca doses which were supposed to reach the country in mid/end of February.
On Monday evening, the Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi said Eswatini is a participant of the COVAX Facility through which the country will receive the COVID-19 vaccine doses to cover 20 percent of the country’s population. The minister said the doses will arrive in the country anytime soon subject to the finalisation of transportation logistics with the UNICEF Supply division. Apparently there is still no exact date to when the doses will hit the soil of this land.
Nkosi further revealed that out of the 270 million doses secured by the African Union (AU), Eswatini has been allocated 237 328 doses which translates to 15 percent of the total AU vaccines. The breakdown of the allocation from the African Union will be as follows; Pfizer/BioTech Vaccine (43 950); Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine (87 899) and Johnson & Johnson vaccine (105 479). All these doses are expected in the second quarter of 2021.
The COVAX Facility has so far been able to deliver jabs to two (2) African countries which is Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
Ghana was the first country to receive vaccines through the UN-backed COVAX scheme, which aims to get COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable people, in a global effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
At least 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India landed in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on February 24, 2021.
The COVAX initiative further shipped 504,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, licensed by the Serum Institute of India, to India, and 505,000 syringes to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on February 26, 2021.
Meanwhile, Eswatini has been seeing a decline in the number of new COVID-19 infections and fatalities recorded on the daily bases. As of Monday, March 1, 2021, the country recorded 11 new cases, null deaths and a whopping 124 recoveries.
The total number of cases recorded in the country stood at 17 025 as of March 1, while the number deaths stood at 652.
The number of people who have recuperated from the coronavirus stood at 14 800 which makes the number of active cases to stand at 1 562.