Rwanda Ramps Up Jab Campaign, Inoculates Travellers at Bus Stations

Rwanda has taken its Covid-19 vaccination campaign to all public bus stations in the capital Kigali to encourage more people to get immunised.

The vaccines are also available in all health centres countrywide, and anybody above the age of 18 is eligible to get inoculated.

Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije said the country moved to increase vaccination stations following two weeks of struggling to exceed 93 percent Covid-19 vaccination rate in Kigali.

"Thinking beyond the box, the vaccination steering committee decided a catch-up plan strategy to meet clients near bus stations in Kigali. The attendance is amazing," Dr Daniel Ngamije tweeted on Thursday.

Since the Wednesday launch of vaccination in bus stations, the number of people who have received a first dose increased from less than 68,000 people per day in the previous weeks to more than 239,000 people vaccinated in one day.

The ongoing vaccination campaign has seen over 5,227,250 people receive their first shot while 2,850,430 people are fully vaccinated.

"I had taken my first shot three weeks ago but because of busy studies, I had not found time to go for the second dose. I took it yesterday when I was going to travel. It was very convenient," said Jeremy Dukundane, a university student who benefited from the campaign.

The current campaign is focused on ensuring residents get their second shots.

Rwanda has already surpassed the global WHO Africa target to inoculate 40 percent of the population with at least one dose. The country is now working to fully vaccinate 30 percent of its 12.9 million population or 3,870,000 people by December 2020.

The Ministry of Health recently confirmed that Rwanda is considering giving booster shots to people with suppressed immune systems such as the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

During the last three months, Rwanda has received more than 3 million vaccine doses from various donors including China, Greece, Belgium, the UK and Italy. It also acquired some vaccines through the COVAX initiative and other doses were purchased through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust.

With the economy reopening and the country allowing concerts, sports events, and social gatherings to open until midnight, the Covid-19 vaccine and negative test results have become mandatory.

Currently, businesses work until midnight. All social and public gatherings are allowed, and are open to vaccinated and tested people.

As of Wednesday, Rwanda had recorded a total of 100,183 Covid-19 infections, out of which 310 cases were active. The infection rate has consistently been less than 1 percent for the last two months. 1,338 lives have been lost to the virus.

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