Response to Covid-19; Cameroon Receives Second Consignment of J & J Vaccine

The Government of Cameroon has received its first 158,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine through the AU / African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) in collaboration with the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

This consignment was received by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health, personal representative of the Minister of Public Health at the Nsimalen International on Sunday August 8, 2021, on behalf of the government of Cameroon.

The delivery of these doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is in line with the President of the Republic of South Africa and African Union (AU) COVID-19 Champion, President Cyril Ramaphosa Covid-19 response strategy of a monthly shipments of vaccines acquired by the AU / African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to the AU Member States.

This is an initiative by the AU Member States to pool their purchasing power, the AVAT. On March 28, 2021, the AU members signed the historic agreement for the purchase of 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, with the potential to order an additional 180 million doses.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was selected for this first pooled procurement because as a single-shot vaccine, it is easier and cheaper to administer, the vaccine has a long shelf-life and favourable storage conditions and it is partly manufactured on the African continent, with fill-finish activities taking place in South Africa.

Provided Africa has as target to immunise at 60% of its population before 2022, it was essential for the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to come together to collectively fight against the common energy.

“We do not want Covid-19 to be circulating in the African population. We want Africans to be immunised against Covid-19, and the only way to do that is by ensuring that we get to a minimum of 60%,” reminded Dr. Mohammed Abdulaziz, representative of the Director General of CDC Africa.

He went ahead to reassure Cameroonians that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine which is administered in a single dose is very safe, and congratulated he government of Cameroon for the initiative.

 “We are very happy that the government of Cameroon has invest in the health security of its people. Let us take advantage of the investment that the government of Cameroon has made.  Let us come out and take these vaccines, so that we protect ourselves and our people against Covid-19. If you vaccinate yourself, it means you are protecting all the people around you against Covid-19.” 

During the reception ceremony which took place at the Nsimalen International Airport, the US Charger d’Affaires in Cameroon just like the representative of CDC-Africa congratulatedthe government of Cameroon for investing in health, and encouraged Cameroonians to receive vaccines which safe lives.

“I will like to congratulate the Cameroon government for this important investment in the health of people of Cameroon through the vaccinations purchased through the African Union’s initiative to get more vaccines to Africa. This are vaccines from the company Johnson and Johnson, and I want to tell you that they are safe, and I want to really encourage all Cameroonians to get vaccinated. This is the only way we are going to stop the pandemic, and vaccines saves life,” said the US Charger d’Affaires in Cameroon, Mary Daschbach.

The secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health, Loius Njock reiterated that the outbreak of the third and most dangerous variant of the pandemic obliged Cameroon to take drastic response measures, including the intensification of vaccines.

“At a moment when many countries in the world are facing a third phase of the pandemic, the vaccination is showing a positive result on a significant reduction. This gives great hopes for the elimination of the virus, especially in most affected economies."

"This necessitate more sensitization, the reinforcement of preventive measures, taking care of infected cases, and above all the intensification of the vaccination,” stated Louis Njock. 

It should be recalled that Cameroon was affected with the Coronavirus since March 6, 2021. On April 11, 2021, Cameroon received 200, 000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, which permitted the country to launch the first vaccination campaign on April, 12, 2021.

 The country again through the facilitation of COVAX received 391,200 doses of the AstraZenaca vaccine on April 17, 2021. The country finally received 303,050 doses of the Johnson and Johnson on July 21, 2021, a US donation. 

The government has as target to vaccinate at least 20% of the total population before the 2022 AFCON. According to information from the Ministry of Public, the country’s response to the vaccines is so far progressing impressively.

By Ndefru Melanie

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