Mauritius: The United States Donates 203,580 Doses of the Pfizer Vaccines to Mauritius

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (file photo).
press release

A donation of 203,580 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines was presented, this morning, by the U.S. Embassy to Mauritius to the Mauritian authorities, during a ceremony held at Newton Tower, in Port-Louis.

The Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo, the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, the Chargée d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy to Mauritius, Ms Judes E. DeBaere, the UN Resident Coordinator for Mauritius and Seychelles, Mrs Christine Umutoni, the WHO Representative in Mauritius, Dr L. Musango, and other personalities were present.

The 203,580 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines arrived at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport on 16 December 2021. The vaccine donation was made through coordinated efforts among the U.S. Government, COVAX, and the African Union. During that same week, the U.S. Government also donated 39,780 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to Seychelles.

In his statement, Minister Ganoo highlighted that in these uncertain times we have to live with the fact that the virus will continue to spread and mutate, hence, the continued need for effective global collaboration and solidarity to overcome the pandemic. He thus expressed the heartfelt gratitude of the Government of Mauritius to the U.S. Government for the generous donation of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines which reflect the solidarity and goodwill of the U.S. and the strong ties between both Governments. The Minister further recalled that the modalities for the next batch of vaccines are currently being worked out.

The Minister acknowledged that widespread vaccination remains a crucial step that all must take to ensure a return to normalcy. 'We are cognizant of the fact that while the struggle for vaccine equity and support in vaccine production capacity is still raging, there is now emphasis on vaccinations, that is, having the appropriate eco-system for ensuring capacity for effective and timely vaccine administration', he indicated.

Finally, Mr Ganoo spoke of the country's commitment in strengthening global healthcare resilience and in contributing towards improving production and access to vaccines and other therapeutics. Accordingly, the development of the pharmaceutical industry in the country represents a fundamental component of Government's agenda, he affirmed.

For his part, Minister Jagutpal remarked that year 2022 begins with a new hope in the global fight against COVID-19. Vaccination has proved to be a game-changer and even if global cases are escalating due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, hospitalisations and deaths appear to be on a downward curve, he pointed out.

Looking back at last year, we can be only satisfied with the tremendous progress accomplished and more than 72% of our population have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines as at now, underscored Dr Jagutpal. We are also making great progress with regards to the vaccination of youngsters and soon we will be able to offer vaccination to those aged five onwards and this will confer additional protection to our children while rendering a return to school much safer, he indicated.

The Health Minister also said that currently focus is on providing our vaccinated population with a booster dose and the success of our vaccination coverage rests on various factors. He moreover congratulated citizens who have understood the importance of COVID-19 vaccines for themselves but also to allow our country and the world to resume to a new normal. Government, he recalled, has worked relentlessly in making sure that our country has access to safe and sufficient vaccines for its population. Mauritius managed to procure vaccines in a timely manner and greatly benefitted from the support of international organisations and friendly countries and their donations have allowed us to start our vaccination programme, he said. On that note, he expressed gratitude to the U.S. authorities for their laudable gesture.

As for Ms Judes E. DeBaere, she stated that this donation reaffirms the U.S. Government's commitment to end the COVID-19 pandemic, help save lives and mitigate the pandemic's devastating social and economic impacts. As part of our strong bilateral relationship, the U.S. Government is proud to support Mauritian authorities' vaccination efforts and help protect the population of Mauritius, she emphasised.

For her, even with the rise of new variants, vaccines remain effective at lowering the rate of hospitalisation and severe illness. 'The time is now to take advantage of these vaccines to protect yourself, your family and those in your community. For many people this includes getting your booster shot. Mauritius has been a leader in ensuring vaccine availability and I hope all eligible people will take advantage of this' said the Chargée d'Affaires.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines donations

Mauritius has benefitted, to-date, from three donations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines from the U.S. Government. A first consignment of the vaccine was delivered in September, and a second one arrived in November.

In total, Mauritius has received 387,270 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines as donations from the U.S. Government. The vaccine donation is part of the Biden Administration's commitment to leading an international and coordinated vaccine effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, the U.S. Government has successfully donated more than 302 million COVID-19 vaccines to more than 110 countries worldwide.

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