Second Batch AstraZeneca Vaccines Arrives

MONROVIA-The long awaited second consignment of the 96,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Vaccines has arrived in the country to boost the fight against the third wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID) in Liberia.

The doses of the AstraZeneca Vaccines are a complement of the initial consignment sent by the Government and people of France to the people and Government of Liberia in an effort to curtain the menace across the world.

According to health authorities, the second consignment of the 96,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is intended to vaccinate persons who have been vaccinated with the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country.

Speaking during the official donation of the vaccines at the Roberts International Airport outside Monrovia, the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of France in Liberia, Ambassador Hughes Nagy, expressed delight for the reception of the delivery of the AstraZeneca Vaccines offered by France as part of the COVAX initiative.

Nagy said, the deployment of the vaccines will ensure better protection of vulnerable groups, strengthen the country’s resilience and revive economic activities more quickly.

According to the French diplomat, the donation illustrates the close ties between the two countries which started a long time ago.

The French envoy lauded the healthcare workers of Liberia who risk their lives to continue to fight against the pandemic in the country.

Also, Ambassador Nagy extolled the COVAX partners for their involvement in the fight against the pandemic through the provision of access to vaccines.

At the same time, the French official commended the manner in which the Government of Liberia, under the astute leadership of President George M. Weah continues to properly manage the pandemic.

“Liberian health system can be proud of its action under your leadership, Mrs. Minister and I’m sure you will continue this effort to protect the populations of this country through an efficient vaccination campaign,” Mr. Nagy noted.

However, Ambassador Nagy asserted that the main concern of the French Government and its partners is to ensure the vaccination of people as one of the surest and fastest ways out of the pandemic.

He underscored the need for the Government of Liberia as well as its partners to address the challenge of vaccine hesitancy in the population and to work hard in convincing the public to get vaccinated.

“We must collectively step up efforts to close this gap of hesitation. It is a moral obligation since it concerns the health and lives of populations. This is a health imperative because we cannot hope to overcome this pandemic by leaving anyone behind. No one is safe until we are all safe and the only way to beat the pandemic is to make sure immunization is accessible to everyone,” Nagy emphasized.

The French emissary assured the public as well as the Government of Liberia of his country’s close collaboration in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, saying: “France is working, and will continue to work together with Liberia to make safe, effective vaccines widely available throughout the country”.

For her part, Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah extended thanks and appreciation to the people and Government the France for the timely donation.

She swiftly attributed the strong diplomatic ties between the two countries as a result of the leadership of the President of Liberia, His Excellency George M. Weah.

She emphasized that Liberians continue to see tangibles as a result of the President’s visit to the French Republic a while ago.

“We saw all of the test kits that came in that we are currently using and now our long-awaited second consignment of the second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine has arrived,” the Ministry of Health boss maintained.

She described the decision made by health authorities to use the second doses to vaccinate more people against the virus during the heat of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic as a tough decision.

“We were forced to use 89,000 doses instead of 49,000 so this is a sign of relief for me because it has saved my life because now I don’t have to answer lot of questions on when the vaccines will arrive,” she intimated.

Dr. Jallah encouraged citizens as well as residents to come out in their numbers to embrace the vaccination campaign across the country.

“Your second dose has arrived, so we want you to be very eager to get to all of the places,” Dr. Jallah said.

She disclosed that the second consignment of the AstraZeneca vaccines will commence immediately on Saturday, August 21, at GSA, LACC and Orange Liberia in Monrovia.

“We will be at the GSA, the LACC and also at Orange Liberia. So if you want to make your way to those locations you can make it,” Dr. Jallah revealed.

Also, Dr. Jallah assured the public that the vaccination team will be at different churches in Monrovia ensuring those who need their second doses in the churches get them.

She said that the vaccination will continue in parts of Montsrerrado and other countries from Monday upwards.

“We want to thank the Liberian people, because without you we wouldn’t have been here. It was through your participation, your vigorousness in wearing the masks and following the health protocols that brought us here today,” Dr. Jallah maintained.

So now that the vaccines are here to help all of us in meeting the e WHO target of vaccinating 10% of the total population by September, she added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jallah called on those who haven’t taken the COVID vaccine at all to continue with the Johnson and Johnson vaccines, noting that the second consignment of the AstraZeneca vaccine is intended for those that have taken their first doses of the vaccines.

“For those who have taken your first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, please come out en mass so that we can consume these 96,000 doses which will put us in the position to give more vaccines.

She added: “The more our people get vaccinated, the more vaccines we will receive. So it’s you the Liberian people along with residents that will determine the safety of Liberia.”

“If you have a group of 30 or more, call us we will come to you. The more we vaccinate the better Liberia will be,” Dr. Jallah said.

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