Mozambique: Vaccines Purchased By Private Sector Arrive in Maputo

Mozambique on 30 June received 500,000 doses of vaccine against the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease, purchased by 318 private companies. The companies were mobilised under the initiative "United for Vaccination against Covid-19" (Univax). The companies intend to use most of the vaccines to immunise their workforce and their relatives and to donate 139,000 doses to the Ministry of Health for its general vaccination campaign. This consignment consists of the VeroCell vaccine, produced by the Chinese company Sinopharm.

Speaking at Maputo International Airport, at the official ceremony to receive the vaccines, Health Minister Armindo Tiago said the quantity is enough to vaccinate 250,000 people (each of whom would receive two doses).

"The acquisition by the private sector plays an important role in the National Vaccination Plan", he said. "It will allow protection of productive units at risk from the spread of Covid-19, eventually contributing to lower rates of absenteeism and guaranteeing greater productivity".

Tiago urged all the eligible workers to accept vaccination, pointing out that many Mozambicans want to be vaccinated, but few doses of vaccine are currently available.

"Initially, there were those who said there would be fraud", declared the Minister, "but we argued that together we can build a dream. Today is the implementation of that dream. It is an example of how fruitful the partnership is between the government and the private sector".

The representative of the Mozambican private sector, Osorio Lucas, of the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), said this initiative is a model which should be replicated across the country. "The success of the initiative sends a clear sign that public health is not the exclusive responsibility of the state", he added. "The companies are extremely willing to take responsibility for becoming actively involved in solving the challenges facing the country".

Tiago also announced that, due to the joint platform between the Health Ministry and the private companies, Mozambique expects to receive a further 1.5 million doses of vaccine in July.

"This is an acquisition which will speed up our plan to vaccinate some of the 17 million people we hope to reach", the Minister said.

He added that the country may receive another nine million doses in August, acquired by the government through an African Union mechanism.

This would make it possible to reach 50 per cent of the government's vaccination target.

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