Maputo — The Mozambican Health Ministry on Monday received a further half a million doses of the Verocell anti-Covid-19 vaccine, manufactured by the Chinese pharmaceutical company, Sinopharm.
This follows the reception of a million doses of the Verocell vaccine six days ago. These vaccines are part of the government's drive to acquire 11 million doses by the end of August, and to ensure that, by the end of the year all 17 million eligible adults will have been vaccinated.
Receiving the vaccines, the Deputy Health Minister Lidia Cardoso, said they will be used in the next phase of the country's mass vaccination campaign, scheduled to start on Wednesday.
The target groups for this phase are anyone in the urban areas aged 50 and above, all state employees and teachers not covered by earlier phases, and all drivers and fare collectors of passenger transport vehicles (including drivers of bicycle and motorbike-taxis).
Cardoso said that mass vaccination will reduce the impact of the disease, and will allow the relaxation of some of the restrictive measures imposed by the government to halt the spread of Covid-19.
Vaccination does not necessarily eliminate the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, but it does dramatically reduce the number of serious cases, of hospitalisations and of deaths.
Cardoso called on the target groups to go en masse to the vaccination posts. Unlike the earlier phases of the vaccination campaign, which involved smaller numbers of people, citizens should first register at the post nearest to their homes, and they will then be given a date and a time for receiving the vaccination.
The vaccination, Cardoso stressed, is evidence of the government's commitment to public health.
The Verocell vaccine must be taken in two doses, a month apart. Half a million doses is thus enough for the complete vaccination of 250,000 people.
This phase of the campaign is expected to last for two weeks.