After receipt of 96,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, through the COVAX facility, Liberia, today April 1, 2021, joined many countries to officially launch the vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah launched the vaccine at the Ministerial Complex in the presence of the UN Head of Agencies, the United Kingdom and European Union Ambassadors, Representative of other development partners, Cabinet Ministers, chairs of the health committees at the Senate and legislature, senior government officials and the media.
Immediately after the launch, the Honorable Minister of Health was the first to receive her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine together with more than 60 others dignitaries including the WHO Representative for Liberia, Ministers of information, Education and Chairpersons on Health in the House of Senate and Legislature.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Minister of Health said she was honored on behalf of the President of the Republic of Liberia Dr. George M. Weah to launch the COVID-19 vaccination campaign “I want to thank our partners who have stood with us in thick and thin, this is a demonstration of true partnership,” the Minister of Health said in her opening remarks.
Dr. Jallah urged all eligible persons especially health care workers to embrace the opportunity of getting vaccinated and assured them that they will receive their second doses within 8 to 12 weeks after the initial dose.
She assured the public that the vaccines deployed by the Government are safe, free, voluntary and will be rolled out to the public based on the availability of additional doses in country.
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 today will be one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. The more eligible people get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Liberia, the better it is for everyone. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 globally and in Liberia gets us closer to the end of the pandemic,” said Dr. Peter Clement, WHO Country Representative for Liberia.
“It is important to continue adherence to public health preventive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 even after you are fully vaccinated,” Dr. Clement added.
"Today’s rollout of vaccines in Liberia is a huge step forward in ending this pandemic. As one of the COVAX initiative partners, UNICEF is ensuring that vaccines are available to the frontline workers and the most vulnerable so that no one is left behind in this global fight,” said Laila O. Gad, UNICEF Representative in Liberia.
She said that the only way to save lives and reduce the infection is by preventing the virus spread through vaccination.
The vaccines are now deployed at eight sites in Montserrado and Margibi counties including; the Number 14 Military hospital, JFK memorial hospital, Catholic hospital, Redemption and SOS Hospitals among others. The vaccines will subsequently be rolled out to the others counties in the coming days.
The AstraZeneca vaccines were tested in state-of-the-art laboratories, tried in thousands of renowned clinics and approved by WHO. The same vaccines are being administered all over the world, including countries in Africa, like Ghana, Sierra Leone, Mali, Morocco, among others.
For more information, please contact
Dr. Abdullahi Sule
EPI Team Lead- WHO