ETHIOPIA – USA has announced a donation of 453,600 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Ethiopia as part of the US government’s global efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
This donation will help protect the Ethiopian people from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus and begin reducing barriers to building back Ethiopia’s economy.
The donated vaccines, which have already arrived in Ethiopia through the COVAX facility, are part of the U.S. pledge to initially provide 25 million doses to Africa of 80 million doses globally.
Earlier on, US government through USAID contributed US$2 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support the purchase and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle- income countries.
The country also plans to commit a further US$2 million to the facility, a move that will make it the largest financial donor to COVAX.
The vaccines delivered to Ethiopia are part of the first shipment of vaccines to Africa from US targeting about 50 countries. GAVI officials had listed Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Djibouti as first destinations.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is Ethiopian, has called for vaccinating at least 10% of the most vulnerable in every country, including health workers and the elderly, by September.
The COVAX dose-sharing program has so far shipped 121 million doses to 136 mostly low- and middle-income countries, far short of its original targets, due to supply constraints since India suspended vaccine exports.
“Ventilators, medicine, test kits, oxygen concentrators, personal protective equipment, and today, we are proud to add vaccines to the list of support that the American people are providing Ethiopia to save lives in the fight against COVID-19,” said Ambassador Geeta Pasi.
In the past 24 hours, Ethiopia registered 97 new COVID-19 cases, taking the nationwide tally to 277,877, the country’s health ministry said.
Meanwhile, two new COVID-19 induced deaths and 93 more recoveries were reported, bringing the national death toll to 4,359 and total recoveries to 262,550.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, has so far reported the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the East Africa region.
Figures from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the country’s COVID-19 cases accounted for about 5 percent of Africa’s total.
Amid a national push for vaccination, the country has so far administered 2,135,430 COVID-19 vaccine doses.
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