The Ministry of Health of The Gambia has received 149,760 doses of Pfizer vaccines from the Italian government, an important donation that could help significantly increase national vaccination coverage. The vaccines were delivered by Unicef on behalf of the COVAX facility.
“The Ministry of Health deeply appreciates the immense support of the Italian government and Team Europe to our Covid-19 vaccination strategy,” said Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health of The Gambia. “These vaccines, which are among the updated version of the Pfizer vaccines, offer an even more potent and robust protection against Covid-19, including against the Omicron subvariants.”
This donation is among the latest baches of vaccines to arrive in the country and have been pivotal in helping the country launch a nationwide vaccination campaign in March which helped raised the national vaccination coverage. More vaccination campaigns are planned in the coming months.
“This donation represents Italy’s continued support to The Gambia, including in the post-pandemic phase and in the framework of our excellent bilateral relations,” said Giovanni Umberto De Vito, Ambassador of Italy in Senegal. “We deeply appreciate the critical role played by COVAX partners in multilateral efforts aimed at sustaining the local health sector and improve population welfare.”
“Unicef shares a strong commitment with Italy and our European partners to support The Gambia’s Covid-19 vaccination programme,” said Gordon Jonathan Lewis, Unicef The Gambia Representative. “We commend our Italian and European partners and underscore the importance of this donation, especially as the Ministry of Health steps up Covid-19 vaccinations to protect people from the virus.”
“Sharing vaccines with the world and ending the pandemic everywhere remains a strong commitment of Team Europe,” said Corrado Pampaloni, EU Ambassador to The Gambia. “This donation is yet another example of our strong partnerships with the Ministry of Health and COVAX which is helping save lives.”
The doses are part of the updated Pfizer vaccines released in 2023, which include components of the original virus strain and the omicron variant to provide more protection against new Covid strains.
The Gambia remains strongly committed to vaccinating all eligible people in the country against Covid-19 and will continue to make vaccines available in health facilities and communities.