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National COVID-19 vaccination campaign officially launched in the Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) has joined the ranks of countries that have adopted vaccination as a means of combating the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to testing and other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada and the Minister of Health, Dr. Pierre Somse, officially launched the national vaccination campaign against Covid-19 on Thursday, 20 May 2021.

“The mobilization of all means of control and vaccinating the entire population is imperative,” stated Dr. Somsé.

He outlined the objectives of the vaccination campaign: combating the pandemic and limiting medical complications to reduce mortality and the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic on Central Africans.

Thanks to the COVAX initiative, the Central African Republic was allocated doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to enable it to launch its national vaccination campaign.

The campaign will initially target 60,000 people, especially frontline health workers and elderly people with chronic diseases.

On the eve of the campaign launch, Head of State Faustin Archange Touadéra issued a statement warning that “the worsening of the epidemic concerns the entire territory”. He declared that acceleration in the rate of contamination had resulted in a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in numerous localities across the country, in areas both urban and rural, including infections in locations that were previously unaffected.

The fight against Covid-19 in the Central African Republic began on 14 March 2020. 146 new cases of infection and one death were recorded in the last quarter of 2020 while there were more than 3,044 new cases and 33 deaths for the period between January and 18 May 2021.

The Central African Republic has registered more than 7,015 cases of infection and 96 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.