GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: The first batch of the British manufactured Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Mogadishu Monday morning about a month after the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced Somalia will be receiving the vaccine.
A United Nations aircraft transporting the 300,000 doses arrived in Mogadishu this morning evoking a sigh of relief for the Horn of Africa nation which has in recent weeks confronted a deadly second wave of the disease.
Health Minister Fawzia Abikar and UN head in Somalia James Swan received the vaccines at Aden Adde airport in Mogadishu.
The Ministry of Health said last month it will targeting the first 3 million people who include front line workers, the elderly and the vulnerable among the population.
The first 1.2 million doses are offered under the WHO COVAX programme free of charge. The government will however need to buy the remaining doses to inoculate the rest of the population.
The vaccine arrives a day after Somalia recorded one of the highest death toll from COVID-19 with 18 people succumbing to the disease in a day.
A further 244 people out of 2028 samples contracted the disease Sunday based on the Ministry of Health report with Puntland recording the highest figure at 152 followed by Somaliland which recorded 45 cases.
To date, 367 people have died of COVID-19 in Somalia and a total of 9190 have contracted the disease.
Meanwhile, about ten countries in Europe including Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia have temporarily paused the roll-out of the vaccine after it emerged some people who took the jab developed blood clots. Thailand is the only country in Asia that has suspended the use of the drug.
The vaccine has however been rolled out in several African countries with no reported cases of adverse side effects.