Rwanda hits target in Covid vaccination drive, off EU red list

Saturday September 25 2021
Covid-19 vaccines

Refugees from Libya register after receiving their first doses of Covid-19 vaccines at Gashora Emergency Transit Centre in Kigali. PHOTO | FILE

By Ange Iliza


The EastAfrican

Rwanda hit the September global target of fully vaccinating 10 percent of its 12.9 million population against Covid-19 and is among countries recommended by the European Union to have unrestricted access for non-essential travel its territory.

The country has vaccinated 2,029,038 people with the first jab and 1,466,966 are fully vaccinated as of September 24. In August, Rwanda launched a vaccination campaign that targeted Kigali residents above the age of 18.

According to the World Health Organisation, Rwanda has received 3.4 million doses of vaccines so far. Of these, it has administered 3.3 million doses and fully vaccinated 10 percent of its population.

On Thursday, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said in the latest weekly briefing that African countries have so far acquired 181.2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. The agency said around 4.06 percent of Africa's population has been fully vaccinated. Some 136.3 million of the total 181.2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far. Five countries — Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia -— have acquired and administered the most doses to their populations, according to the agency.


Morocco has so far administered 39.5 million doses, accounting for about 48.63 percent of the country's total population. So far at least 70,739,842 Covid-19 tests have been conducted on the continent. These numbers are expected to increase as Tanzania committed to official publishing of Covid-19 statistics as part of conditions to access $567.25 million International Monetary Fund loan, disbursed earlier this month to mitigate effects of the global pandemic.

Finance minister Mwigulu Nchemba in an official letter dated August 20 to the Fund, pledged; "We are committed to start, by end-September 2021, to regularly and transparently report and disseminate critical information on the pandemic to the WHO and the public at least weekly," said Mr Nchemba. Tanzania stopped official publishing of Covid-19 data in April last year, with only 509 cases and 21 deaths reported then.

The IMF says on its website that the loan endorsement and disbursement are in response to Tanzania's need for "urgent financial assistance" to implement its Covid-19 response plan.