MOGADISHU, 26 October 2021 -- Somalia scaled up its battle to end the COVID-19 pandemic after receiving 163 000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines from the Government of Germany through the COVAX Facility today.
“The Government of Germany has extended its valuable support to Somalia in the fight against COVID-19 and we would like to thank them for this,” said Dr Fawziya Abikar Nur, the Minister of Health and Human Services of Somalia. “So far, 1.85 percent of our population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. With the support from Germany, we can ramp up our efforts to ensure more eligible Somalis have access to the life-saving vaccines. It is only when we join forces that we become strong enough to stamp out diseases, like COVID-19, from Somalia and the rest of the countries all over the world.”
“We stand firmly with Somalia to protect its people against COVID-19,” said Sascha Kienzle, Deputy Ambassador to Somalia. “As the second-largest donor to the global response to COVID-19, and one of the co-founders of the ACT-A, a distribution platform for COVID-19 vaccines, we understand the importance of ensuring safe and equitable access to these vaccines for every country to end this pandemic and to ensure vaccine equity. I hope our support will enable Somalia to immunize more of its citizens, giving them an opportunity to lead healthy lives and contribute to the country’s economy and development goals.”
In August 2021, the Government of Germany donated around 1.3 million face masks to WHO for Somalis to use and stay safe from COVID-19 and other infectious respiratory diseases.
“Donors, such as the Government of Germany, are playing an important role in the response plan for COVID-19. Together with the Federal Government of Somalia and UNICEF, WHO is supporting the vaccination drive to improve the uptake and use all means to reach every eligible Somali to receive a vaccine against COVID-19,” said Dr Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative to Somalia.
“Immunization is an effective intervention to halt the spread of COVID-19 and the dose donations, through the COVAX facility, play an important role in enhancing equitable and safe access to the vaccines in Somalia. UNICEF is grateful to the Government of Germany and remains steadfast in its commitment to support the Ministry of Health in managing the cold chain systems to deliver the vaccines safely and in deploying community mobilizers to encourage the uptake of the vaccine,” said UNICEF Somalia Representative, Mohamed Ayoya.
Besides frontline workers, people aged over 50 and those with pre-existing medical conditions continue to be prioritized with vaccinations. Somalia is also offering vaccines to all people aged 18 years and above.
When vaccines are prioritized for essential workers and people who are at highest risk of COVID-19 complications, health and other essential services will continue to function and deaths can be prevented. Unless health workers and other essential workers are protected, health systems and other essential services will remain overwhelmed, and the most vulnerable populations, including children, will continue to lose access to life-saving services, risking years of progress being reversed.
As of 25 October 2021, 652 886 doses have been administered in the country. So far, 289 925 (1.85%) people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 362 961 (2.32%) have been partially vaccinated.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in March 2020, Somalia has reported 21 998 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1208 deaths, as of 25 October 2021.
For additional information, please contact:
Khadar Hussein Mohamud – Head of Coordination and Communication, Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services, Somalia, email@example.com, +252 615 602 637 Judith Gosmann - Policy Officer, Somalia Unit, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Somalia, firstname.lastname@example.org, +254 758 726 179 Fouzia Bano - WHO Chief of Staff ai, Communications Officer, email@example.com, +252 619 235 880 Eva Hinds – UNICEF Communication Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org; +252 613 642 635
Note to Editors:
Please see the link below for more information on the face masks donated by the Government of Germany to Somalia:
WHO EMRO | Germany donates 1.3 million face masks to WHO for its COVID-19 response work in Somalia: more face masks means more people protected | News | Somalia site
The COVAX Facility is a partnership between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The facility aims to provide vaccines for at least 20% of countries’ populations. Please visit the link below for more information on the COVAX Facility and the ACT-A Accelerator: https://www.who.int/initiatives/act-accelerator/covax