Rwanda begins vaccinating vulnerable against Covid-19

Monday February 15 2021
Covid-19 vaccine.

The first beneficiaries of the Covid-19 jab in Rwanda will get it for free. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

By Ange Iliza

Rwanda has started its first phase of vaccination against Covid-19 with the limited 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine administered to high-risk groups, including frontline workers.  

The first and primary beneficiaries of the Covid-19 jab will get it for free. 

The Ministry of Health says the limited initial doses were “acquired through international partnership in limited quantities” though the country anticipates receiving additional doses in the coming weeks to allow it to expand the vaccination exercise.

Rwanda expects to receive at least 996,000 doses of AstraZeneca and 102,960 doses of the Pfizer vaccine between February and March.

These doses will be given in the second phase of vaccination.

The country expects to acquire vaccines in the second roll-out from the Covax Facility—a global initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines—and African Union’s Africa Medical Supplies Platform.


“Rwanda’s Covid-19 vaccination plan is ready with infrastructure, protocols, and personnel in place,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The country also rolled out a mass testing exercise for Kigali city residents with coronavirus symptoms and contacts of Covid-19 patients an exercise that is expected to guide the process of easing restrictions and reopening the economy.

By Saturday, Rwanda had registered 67 news coronavirus cases with a total of 17,267 positive cases since the pandemic was first reported in the country.

It has also recorded 14,477 recoveries and 236 deaths after a result of Covid-19.

Health Minister Daniel Ngamije recently said Rwanda is prepared to receive more one million doses of Covid-19 AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in mid-February.

Dr Ngamije said the ultra-cold freezers and containers are in place in each province for proper storage and distribution of vaccines.

Rwanda targets to vaccinate 20 percent of the population in 2021 and eight million people in two years, according to the Health Ministry.