Botswana on Saturday received another batch of COVID-19 vaccines purchased by the Government to boost mass inoculations. Botswana’s Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane received the 33,600 doses of AstraZeneca upon their arrival at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA).
The vaccines were procured through the World Health Organization (WHO) COVAX facility.
Tsogwane said the southern African country is determined to obtain even more vaccines to help contain the health pandemic. Botswana kicked off its COVID-19 vaccination program on Friday, with priority given to high-risk groups, including people with underlying health conditions and the elderly. Tsogwane, who was the first to receive the jab on Friday, called for patience, noting that people will receive their jabs according to a rollout plan formulated by the Ministry of Health. The vaccines that arrived on Saturday are set to go through verification by the Botswana Medicines Regulatory Authority (BOMRA) before the roll out exercise.
Vaccinated residents in good health – Ministry of Health
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), Kabelo Ebineng says all those who were vaccinated across Botswana on Friday are doing well without any side effects.
He said this yesterday at Sir Seretse Khama Airport when receiving the second consignment of 33 600 AstraZeneca vaccines. Ebineng said the remaining 67 200 doses of the 100 800 procured vaccines will arrive soon, adding that the Ministry is working around the clock to procure more following Cabinet’s approval.
Botswana kicked off its COVID-19 vaccination program Friday, with the elderly citizens given priority for the jab. Several high-ranking former and current government officials publicly took the vaccine in different parts of the country to encourage the public to come forth and get vaccinated. Former President Festus Mogae was the first to receive the jab, followed by the current Minister of Health and Wellness Edwin Dikoloti at Block 8 Medical Clinic in Gaborone. Speaking during the event, Dikoloti explained that currently, only people with underlying health conditions and are 55 years old and above will receive the vaccine.
“Today marks a major milestone in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. I urge everyone who is eligible and has been called up for vaccination to do so as the vaccine has been checked, and it is safe for use,” he said.
Botswana received a donation of 30,000 doses of the CoviShield vaccine from India earlier this month. The country is expecting more vaccines to arrive before the end of March through the COVAX facility, an international COVID-19 vaccine campaign co-led by the World Health Organization and its partners.