US donates Pfizer vaccines for Covid-19 fight
THE United States (US) has donated 100 620 doses of Pfizer vaccines for the ongoing fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the second such donation from the US government after the July 2021 delivery of 302 400 Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
Acting Health Minister Motlohi Maliehe, who received the donation on behalf of the government at the health ministry’s headquarters in Maseru, expressed gratitude to the US government, saying the vaccines would boost the country’s fight against the pandemic.
“This is the second delivery from the US government and we are happy with the donation because it will help us to vaccinate all our (eligible) people.
“We are also thankful to the devoted health workers who are making sure that even people in rural areas are vaccinated,” Mr Maliehe said. He called on more people to come forward and get jabbed to enable the country to meet its ambitious target of vaccinating 80 percent of its population by year end. This would enable the country to achieve herd immunity in the population, something seen as crucial to controlling the pandemic and facilitating the resumption of full scale economic and social activities.
US Ambassador to Lesotho, Rebecca Gonzales, said the donation signified the continuation of the United States’ global leadership in public health and the international Covid-19 response.
“As (US) President (Joe) Biden announced earlier this year, the United States will share over 1, 1 billion vaccines around the world, and this delivery is part of that commitment.
“To ensure the safe storage and handling of these vaccines, UNICEF has provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and facilitated the donation of four, 100 litre, ultra-low-temperature freezers,” Ms Gonzales said.
UNICEF Representative to Lesotho, Anurita Bains,said, “we are delighted to see the US government and other partners working together to ensure the equitable access and timely delivery of vaccines to Africa and specifically to Lesotho.
“Lesotho is making tremendous progress in getting vaccines to all citizens and the arrival of these doses means more Basotho will have access to a Covid-19 vaccine.”
Richard Banda, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to Lesotho, said the country was on track to achieve the WHO target of vaccinating 40 percent of the population getting vaccinated by year end.