Senegal is the first African country to donate vaccines to its neighbours as Dakar announced today that it will give 10,000 doses of each of its Chinese coronavirus vaccines to The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.
Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr – the first to receive a jab today (February 23, 2021) announced that the donation was a sign of solidarity. President Macky Sall confirmed the donation.
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Senegal received a vaccine consignment of 200,000 from China’s Sinopharm. Government said it paid a little over 2 billion CFA francs ($3.74 million) for the doses to kickstart its campaign.
Senegal says it is also in negotiations with Russia to purchase its Sputnik V vaccine.
“We are in the process of finalizing our commercial relationship with Russia to bring in the Sputnik V vaccine very soon,” he said, adding that Senegal also aimed to get more vaccines from an African Union vaccines programme.
Senegal aims to inoculate about 90% of a targeted 3.5 million people, including health workers and high-risk individuals between the ages of 19 and 60, by the end of 2021. The country’s population is about 16 million.
As a lower-middle income country, Senegal is eligible for about 1.3 million vaccine doses for free through the first wave of the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme. Sarr said they were expected to arrive in early March.
The country is also eligible to get 3.4 million doses for just under $23 million under an African Union plan.
With additional files from Reuters
Senegal began its rollout of Sinopharm vaccine (purchased from China) with Min for Health Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr receiving the first dose today alongside a number of other ministers and Health Workers.
Mr Sarr said they will donate a number of vaccines to neighbouring countries.
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) February 23, 2021