Niger: US aid with over 300,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine

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Niger received 302,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, offer of USA, four months after the start of the immunization campaign in the African country, which is proceeding with the dropper, the Ministry of Health announced yesterday, Saturday.

Niamey received the vaccines in two shipments of 151,200 doses each, with the second arriving in the country on Thursday, the Ministry of Health clarified to the French Agency.

Overall, since the start of the immunization campaign on March 29, the Niger has received over one million doses of vaccine: 400,000 doses of Sinopharm, donated by China, 355,000 doses of AstraZeneca via COVAX, designed to deliver vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, another 25,000 doses of the same vaccine donated by India, and the 302,400 installments of that of Johnson & Johnson.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is given in a single dose, as opposed to the two required in the case of Sinopharm and AstraZeneca.

The immunization campaign in Niger has attracted few people: just 400,000 people have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, of which 70,000 have received both, according to Niger Minister of Health Dr. Iliasou Mainasara.

This is 0.3% of the population.

“This percentage is very small (…) all we ask is for people to go and be vaccinated,” the minister stressed on Friday, speaking on public radio.

In December 2020, the Nigerian government announced its goal of vaccinating “47% of the country’s population” by 2021, estimated at over 20 million.

Although Niger has not suffered – comparatively – such a severe blow from the new coronavirus pandemic, having so far recorded 195 deaths due to COVID-19 out of a total of 5,616 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 according to the official death toll, the When the first cases were identified in March 2020, authorities imposed drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus: they closed the borders, imposed a night traffic ban, closed places of worship and schools, and isolated the capital Niamey from the rest of the country.

All restrictive measures have been phased in, but the state of emergency declared has remained in place.

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