Seychelles is in a better position to continue with the administration of third doses of COVID-19 vaccines after the island nation received a second consignment of 40,000 doses of Pfizer-Biotech vaccines from the United States government.
Arriving onboard an early Emirates flight on Friday, the vaccines were delivered through a coordinated effort between the U.S government, COVAX, and the African Union. The consignment of vaccines was given to the chief executive of the Seychelles Health Care Agency, Danny Louange, by the U.S. Embassy Chargée d’Affaires, Judes DeBaere.
“This is a very important donation for us. The Pfizer vaccine is going to be a very important tool to control COVID-19 and we thank the people and the government of the United States for choosing Seychelles through COVAX for this generous donation,” said Louange.
He told reporters that the vaccine will be used primarily to administer a booster dose to people who have already received two doses of the vaccine.
Louange explained that currently there are a little over 20,000 people who have taken their third dose and there are more than 50,000 who have not done so.
The vaccines were delivered through a coordinated effort between the U.S government, COVAX, and the African Union. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
“There are adolescents who haven’t as of yet taken their vaccine and there are those who haven’t taken their second dose of Pfizer. There are also people who haven’t been vaccinated at all. We are encouraging them to come forward,” said Louange.
Noting that the 39,807 doses of newly received Pfizer vaccine will not be enough to cater for all the needs, Louange said that Seychelles has around 40,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine in its stock and is holding discussions to receive further doses of the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, received the first consignment of Pfizer-Biotech vaccine in early September, which was used mainly to vaccinate the adolescent population of the country. The remaining doses were administered as booster doses.
The US Chargée d’Affaires on her part said that “we are very pleased to bring this to you as a demonstration of our commitment to the people of Seychelles and to the United States commitment to be the arsenal of vaccine donation to the African continent and throughout the world.”
“Safe and effective vaccines are the best way to control this pandemic and Seychelles, congratulations, has seen a drop in their COVID-19 cases and the U.S. government and the U.S. Embassy are proud to support the country in its fight against the virus,” said DeBaere.
COVAX is one of three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator launched in April by Gavi, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and CEPI, the European Commission and France in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
It brings together governments, global health organisations, manufacturers, scientists, private sector, civil society and philanthropy, with the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. It also seeks to ensure that people in all corners of the world get access to COVID-19 vaccines once they are available, regardless of their wealth.