Mozambique on 29 August received 1,333,800 doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine and associated goods valued at US$36.5 million from the COVAX Initiative. The vaccines are to be used for the immunisation of the adolescent population (children aged between 12 and 17 years).
The 1,333,800 doses are the first batches of a total of 4,899,960 doses that are expected to arrive in the country by 13 September, funded by the United States government.
Speaking during the reception ceremony in Maputo, Health Minister Armindo Tiago explained that the vaccines join the others that the country has received since the beginning of the pandemic, in the context of bilateral cooperation with other friendly states, as well as the national business community.
"This donation of vaccines, which we received today, will accelerate our National Vaccination Plan, at a time when our interest is to ensure the complete vaccination of adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age", the Minister said.
He pledged that the government will launch the campaign to vaccinate adolescents on 27 September. "The campaign will take place all over the country, where we expect to vaccinate about 4.8 million adolescents of the target group with two doses of vaccine", he said.
Tiago explained that this type of vaccine needs to be stored at temperatures below that usually available in the country's cold chain. Therefore, twenty coolers have been sourced with a conservation capacity at temperatures between -90 and -60 degrees centigrade. He also revealed that the vaccines and their syringes, the coolers, the various accessories, and the prefabricated goods have a value of approximately US$36.5 million. These are part of the COVAX initiative, with support from the US and German governments, GAVI, and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
According to a press release from the US embassy, "with this delivery, the US Government has now donated over 5.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Mozambique. These donations are part of the larger US Government coordinated effort to support Mozambique's response to COVID-19 and strengthen Mozambique's resilience to the virus and its variants".
At the arrival ceremony, the US Ambassador to Mozambique, Peter Vrooman, noted that "the United States is honoured to have been a strong partner of Mozambique in the health sector for decades. We are committed to doing all that we can to help Mozambique reach high vaccination rates among its entire population".