Zambia to secure US$28 million from US for COVID-19 vaccines

ZAMBIA – Zambia is expected to receive US$28 million additional financing from United States through the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access to facilitate affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for Zambians.

Global Vaccine Access or Global VAX is part of the US government’s efforts to turn COVID-19 vaccines in vials into vaccinations in arms through surging resources and support to increase access to vaccines.

The initiative aims to donate more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2022 and support the global goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the world population against COVID-19 in 2022.

The US government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to program the funding in Zambia to support Global VAX activities that make it easier for Zambians to get vaccinated.

Previously, USAID donated more than US$24 million in COVID-19 support to Zambia with an additional US$12.3 million from other U.S. government agencies while leveraging other US government investments in health.

The development agency will ensure increased accessibility of vaccination sites, bolster cold chain supply and logistics as well as address vaccine confidence and demand.

The additional funding comes at a critical time when the Government of Zambia is making collaborative efforts to contain the rising cases of COVID-19 infections and accelerate the deployment of vaccines to a wider population.

The Ministry of Health has reported that about 2 million Zambians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to date as it aims to vaccinate 70 percent of the eligible population by the end of June 2022.

The ministry has also stressed that increasing vaccine uptake is key to halting the spread of COVID-19 and the negative impact of COVID-19 on individuals, the health system, communities and families.

Cote d’Ivoire ramps up COVID-19 vaccination campaign

Meanwhile, Cote d’Ivoire intends to carry out mass vaccination campaigns nationwide coupled with strong community engagement all through 2022 with an aim to fully vaccinate 70% of its population against COVID-19.

National and local political leaders, religious and community leaders as well as the media, selected public figures and social network influencers are also being sensitized to the importance of vaccination against COVID-19

The nation embarked on a three-week mass vaccination campaign in February that saw an increase in COVID-19 uptake where 2 million people were vaccinated yielding an 8% rise in the number of people fully vaccinated.

Vaccinations have more than doubled since the country’s first mass vaccination campaign from 4.8 million doses administered at the end of December 2021 to 10.1 million by mid-March 2022.

Zimbabwe’s new COVID-19 vaccine roll out

Recently, Zimbabwe launched a COVID-19 vaccination blitz targeting an increase in vaccine uptake among school-going children aimed at vaccinating 70 percent of its population by the end of July.

Vaccination teams expanded COVID-19 vaccination campaign to include schools with a large number of learners in selected schools getting their first shots.

Vaccinations will be taking place in both public and private health facilities, schools, workplaces, markets and churches as well as at outreach points across the country.

The new vaccination campaign will be conducted in two phases from March to May with the first phase running from March 21st to April 3rd while the second phase will run from May 2nd to 15th.

The schools’ blitz follows the finding by health experts that it was perfectly safe to vaccinate children aged 12 and above.

It is also part of Government’s efforts to minimize the rate of infection while averting severe disease symptoms and possible death.

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