AFRICA/SUDAN - Sudan, first country in Middle East and Africa to receive first doses of covid-19 vaccine

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - Sudan has started to vaccinate health workers on the front lines in the fight against the corona virus after receiving the first batch of 828,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, intended for 414,000 health operators. The news was made public by a health official at Jabra Hospital in the capital, Khartoum. "We have started to vaccinate health workers and other staff in isolation facilities".
Health Minister Omar al-Naguib said the vaccine "will be available free of charge" and priority will be given to frontline doctors, law enforcement, the elderly and people over the age of 45 suffering from chronic diseases.
"Vaccines are essential for controlling the spread of the virus in Sudan and for returning to normalacy", said the Minister of Health, inviting the entire population to register to be vaccinated.
Dr. Dalia Idris, a member of the Technical Committee against Covid, explained that the program initially aims to vaccinate 20 percent of the total target. "Our hope of recovering from the pandemic lies in vaccines", said Abdallah Fadil, UNICEF Sudan representative. "Vaccines have reduced the scourge of many infectious diseases, saving millions of lives and effectively eliminating many life-threatening diseases".
Through COVAX, a joint initiative led by the United Nations in support of the poorest countries, Sudan has guaranteed a total of 3.4 million doses which should arrive in batches until the end of September 2021.
Sudan was the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to receive vaccines. According to official data from the Ministry of Health, the Coronavirus, in the African country, has so far infected more than 28,500 and killed more than 1,900. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 10/3/2021)