The Ministry of Health has received 151,200 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines from France government through the COVAX facility – as second donation.
Speaking on the occasion, the Honourable Minister of Health Dr Ahmadu Samateh said: “the Ministry of Health is appreciative of the generous support of the French government and the European Union. With these contributions, we are better positioned to vaccinate and protect as many people as possible.”
“These vaccines will significantly increase the country’s COVID-19 vaccine stock and boost vaccination. The vaccines arrived in the country at a critical juncture as the Ministry of Health moves to scale up vaccination through regular campaigns that bring COVID-19 vaccines closer to the people across the country, thereby creating the much-needed herd immunity to further protect the country from new variants.
“Solidarity around the sharing of COVID-19 vaccines has become one of the priorities of the French government,” said Jean-Charles Allard, French Head of Mission to The Gambia. “France was the first country to share doses under the COVAX scheme a year ago, and only delivers vaccines approved for its own population,” he added.
“This most recent contribution reconfirms the generosity and solidarity of the French people and government,” said Gordon Jonathan Lewis, UNICEF The Gambia Representative. “It also shows that vaccine multilateralism is a critical strategy to help countries like The Gambia reaches the target of fully vaccinating 70% of the population.”
“Team Europe – the EU countries and the EU institutions – act together to fight the pandemic as one of the biggest contributors to the COVAX mechanism. We thank the Government of France and COVAX implementing partners, UNICEF and WHO,” Corrado Pampaloni, EU Ambassador to The Gambia said.
“The arrival of this batch of vaccines is a great opportunity to boost The Gambia’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage towards achieving the target of 70 per cent vaccination coverage,” said Dr Desta Alamerew Tiruneh, World Health Organization Representative to The Gambia.
Currently, The Gambia possesses a stock of more than 366,500vaccines from different manufacturers some of which is stored in the new ultra-cold chain facility that has a capacity of holding up to 1.7 million doses of vaccines at any given moment.