Cabo Verde has so far inoculated 8,330 people against Covid-19 using the vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca and is still expecting to receive doses from China, as it aims for the goal of immunising 70% of its adult population this year, according to health officials.
“The country remains in agreements and in contact with other partners to see other possibilities for access to the vaccine,” said the national director of health, Jorge Barreto, at the usual weekly news conference on the pandemic in the country.
According to Barreto, later this month at least two more Chinese vaccines are to be brought into use with authorisation from the World Health Organization.
“Hopefully with these two more vaccines there will be a greater supply capacity and also improve access,” he said.
The national health director added that so far 8,330 people had been given a first dose of vaccine, and that 1,567 health professionals had already had a second.
Of the total doses administered, 5,138 were of the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to Barreto, who said that there are currently no major health concerns relating to the product.
So far, a total of 3,170 elderly people have already received their first dose, in a process that he said had been running smoothly.
According to Barreto, the country has enough doses to continue vaccinating the elderly and is in constant contact with the COVAX initiative that provided the first doses.
However, he stressed that the country has not yet received a large part of the AstraZeneca vaccine doses it was expecting, and that there is as yet no date for their delivery.
“There are other factors that end up having an implication for the definition of that date, but they point to the month of June, if all goes well,” he said.
Cabo Verde received 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on 12 March and 5,850 of the Pfizer one two days later. The national vaccination rollout began on 19 March, with the government declaring a target of vaccinating 70% of the population this year.
Under the WHO-sponsored COVAX initiative, which aims to ensure an equitable global distribution of vaccines against Covid-19, a total of 108,000 doses of the AstraZeneca are to be provided to Cabo Verde.
The rollout began with frontline health professionals, but with other priority groups including the chronically ill, people aged over 60, tourism professionals, schoolteachers, police officers, the military and members of the civil defence service and firefighters, for an estimated 267,293 doses.
COVAX, which is undertaken with the collaboration of Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, was set up to ensure that vaccines against Covid-19 are available to 92 low- and middle-income countries.
Cabo Verde on Monday recorded another death associated with Covid-19 on the island of Sao Vicente, bringing the national total so far to 193, as well as 162 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus that causes it, for a cumulative 20,627.
Worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused at least 3,020,765 deaths, resulting from more than 141.2 million cases of infection.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.