142,500 vaccine doses sent by Estonia arrive in Uganda
The 142,500 Janssen coronavirus vaccine doses sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs arrived in Uganda on Monday.
According to a government decision, Estonia is sending a total of 542,500 vaccine doses through the global vaccine distribution system COVAX to countries in need, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"I am glad that we could use the vaccine distribution program to support the countries that are in the most difficult situation, such as Uganda, which has a great lack of vaccines. At a time when Europeans have been getting booster shots for a while now, there are still many countries in the world where extensive vaccination against the coronavirus is yet to begin. This virus is a shared global concern and in order to prevent the emergence of new strains and defeat the pandemic, we must protect those who have lacked access to vaccines so far," Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said.
"Ensuring the continuity of health systems and limited access to COVID-19 vaccines remain our greatest challenges in preventing the global spread of the coronavirus. In order to achieve the global level of vaccination that would reduce the risk of new strains and stop the pandemic, it is only right to help countries where the level of vaccination remains remarkably low compared to us. By donating vaccines through the COVAX program initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO), Estonia is helping to improve global access to COVID-19 vaccines," Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said.
The next vaccine shipments should arrive in Rwanda, Ghana and Pakistan before the end of 2021. The Gambia, Kenya, Mali and Namibia have also contacted Estonia for assistance.
Estonia is part of all the advance purchase agreements made by the European Union for vaccine procurement and as the reserved volume of vaccines exceeds Estonia's needs, the country is donating the remaining 542,500 doses of the Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines to the countries that still have poor access to vaccines.
The donation of vaccines is organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste