Banjul, 03 March 2022 – A shipment of 100,620 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, donated by the United States Government, through the COVAX facility, is due to arrive in The Gambia today, exactly a year since the first tranche of COVID-19 vaccines were delivered to the country. The vaccines will significantly boost the country’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts to protect more people from COVID-19 infection, severe illness, hospitalisation and death. Today’s shipment brings the total number of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to The Gambia via the COVAX facility in one year to 477,420 doses.
“It is with great delight that we welcome the arrival of more than 100,000 Pfizer vaccines donated by the United States,” said Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, the Minister of Health of The Gambia. “We are incredibly grateful for the enormous support from all partners, including the United States Government and COVAX, whose support has been crucial in the country’s fight against the pandemic. I want to remind and appeal to everyone in The Gambia to take this opportunity to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families and help the country rise above the pandemic.”
The Pfizer vaccines will be kept at the country’s new and first Ultra-Cold Chain Store inaugurated on 9th February 2022 with support from the World Bank and COVAX, a global initiative co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key implementing partner UNICEF, working to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.
“Yet again, this delivery demonstrates the potential of partnerships to save lives and rebuild hope,” said Gordon Jonathan Lewis, UNICEF The Gambia Representative. “The Gambia is now better positioned to turn vaccines into vaccinations, to choose safety over skepticism, science over myths and misinformation and vaccines over COVID-19.”
“I am proud to announce that, with this delivery, the United States will have donated more than 400,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to our Gambian partners,” said Jason Willis, Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Embassy Banjul. “The U.S. government is sharing these doses safely and equitably for the health and well-being of The Gambian people. We urge Gambians to get vaccinated and protect their lives and the lives of others.”
“The arrival of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines is a great opportunity to boost The Gambia’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage towards achieving the target of 70 per cent by June 2022,” said Dr Desta Alamerew Tiruneh, World Health Organization Representative to The Gambia