WORLD Over 50,000 people in Rwanda inoculated on first day of nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign

WORLD

Over 50,000 people in Rwanda inoculated on first day of nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign

Xinhua

18:39, March 06, 2021

KIGALI, March 6 (Xinhua) -- More than 50,000 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Friday, the first day of a nationwide vaccination campaign, Rwandan Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije said.

An eldery woman receives the first injection of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at Muyumbu Health Center in Rwamagana, East Kigali, on March 5, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

"Generally the vaccination exercise started smoothly across the country due to adequate preparation in terms of personnel and other necessary requirements," Ngamije said in a news program on the national broadcaster Rwanda Television.

The vaccines had been distributed to about 45 hospitals and 508 health centers across the country for the three-day vaccination campaign, which targets priority groups including health personnel, frontline workers and those older than 65 years or with underlying health conditions.

Ngamije received the jab during the formal launch of the vaccination campaign at Masaka hospital, in the suburbs of the capital city Kigali.

He called on all those who are eligible for vaccination to receive their jabs.

Through the COVAX vaccine sharing program, the central African nation on Wednesday received AstraZeneca-Oxford and Pfizer vaccines that can inoculate 171,480 people.

Rwanda plans to vaccinate 30 percent of its population by the end of 2021 and 60 percent by the end of 2022, or some 8 million people, to achieve herd immunity against the virus.

In February, the Rwandan Health Ministry said it has started vaccinating high-risk groups against COVID-19, notably frontline healthcare staff, with limited vaccine doses acquired through international cooperation.

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