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Sierra Leone receives first batch of COVAX-funded vaccines


#TeamEurope in action - Sierra Leone in the evening of Monday 8 March received the first AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines allocated through the COVAX Facility. The first delivery of 96.000 doses is part of a wave of arrivals of an initial 528,000 doses that will continue till end of May 2021.

At Lungi airport to witness the arrival of the COVAX consignment, Minister of Health Dr Austin Hinga Demby was joined by the EU and EU MS Ambassadors, the British High Commissioner and representatives from USAID and the UN.

Vaccination in Sierra Leone should begin mid-March and will prioritise critical groups such as frontline health professionals, senior citizens, persons with underlying health conditions and political leaders, while the second phase will include other essential workers such as military, police personnel, and teachers/university lecturers. 

The lifesaving vaccines which are now available for COVID-19, combined with the other important measures which we have adopted since the outbreak started, will afford us a good prospect to return to normalcy.”, Minister Demby said during the handover ceremony.

EU Ambassador Tom Vens stated that "Team Europe" is one of the leading donors to support the COVAX Facility, a global collaboration aiming to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines in low and middle-income countries. "From the early onset of the pandemic, Team Europe stood with the people of Sierra Leone to mobilise resources for a strong coordinated international response. We remain firmly committed to multilateral cooperation to make vaccines universally available".