LIBERIA – Liberia has marked a significant milestone in the fight against COVID-19 as they launched the vaccination campaign of 302,400 doses of the Johnson and Jonson (J&J) COVID-19 Vaccine donated by the United States Government through the COVAX facility.
The West African country received the vaccine donation from the United States Government through the COVAX facility; a partnership of CEPI, GAVI, UNICEF and WHO to expand the COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the country.
The country had halted its vaccination campaign after the 96,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that it received in March ran out amid an upsurge in infections.
Speaking during the program, Mr. Jim Wright, USAID Mission Director in Liberia praised the Government of Liberia and partners for the successful handling of the national COVID-19 response. “Today’s launch is a prove that Liberia is ready to end COVID-19”, he said.
He reassured the public that the vaccine is safe and called on the public to get vaccinated as soon as they can as it is one of the most important opportunities to remain safe.
For his part, Amb. D. Maxwell Saah Kemeyah Sr, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Liberia thanked the Government and people of the United States of America and all partners for their continuous invaluable support to the people of Liberia.
“I can assure you that, the Minister of Health and her dynamic team will ensure that the vaccines will be rolled out to the targeted beneficiaries within the country” he added.
Amb. Kemeyah highlighted that getting vaccinated does not means complacency in adherence to the other COVID-19 preventive measures. He called on all eligible persons to get vaccinated as it is one of the tools employed to end this pandemic.
Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah congratulated the people of Liberia for adhering to the health protocols and encouraged all to continue the good job. “Wear your mask properly, wash your hands frequently avoid crowded places and take your vaccine to end COVID-19 in Liberia” she said.
The Honorable Minister of Health also used the event to launch the digitalization of vaccination data to enable individuals vaccinated to visualize their COVID-19 vaccination status online.
Addressing the media shortly after the launch, Dr Yoti Zabulon, acting WHO Country Representative indicated that as pandemic continues to evolve, we need to sustain the gains achieved so far by consistent adherence to public health measures and increased vaccination.
He emphasized WHO’s goal to support every country to vaccinate at least 10% of its population by the end of September, 40% by the end of 2021, and 70% by the middle 2022.
We can only defeat this virus with a comprehensive approach of vaccines in combination with the proven public health and social measures that we know work.
As of yesterday, Liberia had recorded 5,459 COVID-19 infections with 148 deaths.
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