Africa-Press – Ethiopia. A nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been launched today to reach people in 65 cities over the coming two weeks across Ethiopia, Ministry of Health announced.
In her press conference today, Health Minister, Dr. Lia Tadese underscored the need for vast vaccination to prevent the alarming spread of the virus and its devastating consequences.
The alarming spread of the virus is causing severe illness and death. Out of the 368,979 total COVID-19 cases, more than 6,600 citizens died due to the pandemic. Many are in severe illness receiving medical treatment, Lia said.
The nationwide vaccination campaign to reach 65 cities across the country is necessary to mobilize the vulnerable communities to take the available doses, she stated.
According to Lia, the country, which has so far administered over 5.1 million doses, was able to vaccinate about 3.7 million people.
For Lia, the amount of doses coming in and the number of people getting the vaccine are both low considering the country’s estimated 100 million plus population.
“We will reach to 65 cities in all the regions and city administrations across the country to vaccinate people of over 18 years of age in the coming two weeks,” the minister said, adding that the recently received Pfizer will be given to persons aged 12 and above in the cities.
Addis Ababa Health Bureau has already launched the campaign to vaccinate people aged 12 and above in the city yesterday with a target to reach about 1 million residents of the capital.
Vaccination will start tomorrow in Addis Ababa and will reach regions next week.
Meanwhile, the doses being received is recently increasing compared to the initial months.
However, enhanced awareness campaign is vital to encourage the people to be vaccinated, she noted.
“We have received about 8 million doses so far and we will get additional 9.6 million soon. That way, we will reach 20 million doses,” the minister said.
Ethiopia has been receiving millions of COVID-19 doses via the COVAX Facility and other donors in addition to the purchase with own resources.
The increase of doses to about 20 million combined with the mobilization campaigns will help the nation reach its initial target of vaccinating 20 percent of the total population of Ethiopia by the end of December 2021.