Jul 6 , 2021

Health officials have begun administering the second round of the AstraZeneca vaccine to those over 65 years of age and those with underlying medical conditions. Many will not be able to get the second jab as the country simply does not have enough to go around.

Over two million have so far been vaccinated in Ethiopia and a quick calculation will show that there can not be more than 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine left in stock. This means that hundreds of thousands of people will be forced to wait until the government can source a new batch.

A second shipment of 5.4 million doses was expected to arrive through the COVAX facility just a couple of months after the first round of 2.2 million doses made it to the country in March 2021. However, that shipment has yet to materialise, likely due to the severity of the pandemic in India, where it is manufactured.

Ethiopia also received 300,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine in March but there is little data to show how many of these jabs have been utilised.

There is some good news, however. New COVID-19 case numbers are at the lowest they have been since July 2020, according to the Ministry of Health. Less than 1,200 cases were recorded between June 22 and July 5, 2021 – compare that with over 2,000 average daily cases during the pandemic's peak in late March and early April.

PUBLISHED ON Jul 06,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1106]

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