Somalia scaled up its battle to end the COVID-19 pandemic after receiving 163,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines from the Government of Germany through the COVAX Facility on Tuesday.
“The Government of Germany has extended its valuable support to Somalia in the fight against COVID-19 and we would like to thank them for this,” said Dr. Fawziya Abikar Nur, the Minister of Health and Human Services of Somalia.
“So far, 1.85 percent of our population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. With the support from Germany, we can ramp up our efforts to ensure more eligible Somalis have access to life-saving vaccines. It is only when we join forces that we become strong enough to stamp out diseases, like COVID-19, from Somalia and the rest of the countries all over the world.”
“We stand firmly with Somalia to protect its people against COVID-19,” said Sascha Kienzle, Deputy Ambassador to Somalia. “As the second-largest donor to the global response to COVID-19, and one of the co-founders of the ACT-A, a distribution platform for COVID-19 vaccines, we understand the importance of ensuring safe and equitable access to these vaccines for every country to end this pandemic and to ensure vaccine equity. I hope our support will enable Somalia to immunize more of its citizens, giving them an opportunity to lead healthy lives and contribute to the country’s economy and development goals.”
In August 2021, the Government of Germany donated around 1.3 million face masks to the World Health Organization (WHO) for Somalis to use and stay safe from COVID-19 and other infectious respiratory diseases.
“Donors, such as the Government of Germany, are playing an important role in the response plan for COVID-19. Together with the Federal Government of Somalia and UNICEF, WHO is supporting the vaccination drive to improve the uptake and use all means to reach every eligible Somali to receive a vaccine against COVID-19,” said Dr Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative to Somalia.
Besides frontline workers, people aged over 50 and those with pre-existing medical conditions continue to be prioritized with vaccinations. Somalia is also offering vaccines to all people aged 18 years and above.
When vaccines are prioritized for essential workers and people who are at the highest risk of COVID-19 complications, health and other essential services will continue to function and deaths can be prevented. Unless health workers and other essential workers are protected, health systems and other essential services will remain overwhelmed, and the most vulnerable populations, including children, will continue to lose access to life-saving services, risking years of progress being reversed.
As of October 25, 2021, 652,886 doses have been administered in the country. So far, 289,925 (1.85 percent) people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 362,961 (2.32 percent) have been partially vaccinated.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in March 2020, Somalia has reported 21,998 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1208 deaths, as of October 25, 2021.