April 12, 2021

Somalia: Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Arrive

Somalia received several thousand doses of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on Sunday, 11 April.

The country’s health minister, Dr Fawziya Abikar, received the vaccine from the Chinese ambassador to Somalia, Qin Jian, in a ceremony held at the Aden Adde International Airport in the capital, Mogadishu.

Dr Abikar said in a statement: “We received 200 000 doses of [the] Sinopharm vaccine from China today. We thank China for its support to the Somali Government [sic] and people and it always stands side by side [sic] with Somalia and provides assistance.”

The donation is part of an agreement between the two nations to make joint efforts, in Dr Abikar’s words, “making positive contributions to peace, reconstruction, development and improvement of people’s livelihood” in the eastern African country.

Somalia started its mass vaccination program last month after receiving 300 000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the global COVAX initiative, which is aimed at battling COVID-19 on the continent.

To date, the country has confirmed 12 406 cases, while 618 people have lost their lives to the virus – so far 5 222 citizens have recovered.