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Lesotho receives 2nd batch of COVID-19 vaccine

UNICEF representative to Lesotho, Anurita Bains

June 1, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

LESOTHO received its second batch of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility on Monday. The shipment of 36 000 doses of AstraZeneca is part of a donation made by the Republic of France.

Receiving the donation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) representative to Lesotho, Anurita Bains expressed her gratitude on behalf of the partners of COVAX for working tirelessly to ensure that countries like Lesotho have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

She said the COVID-19 vaccine is an important step on the path to recovery.

“The sooner Basotho are vaccinated, the sooner we can ease the burden on nurses and frontline workers, the sooner children can fully continue with their learning, and we can build back better to ease the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and well-being of families.

“This second delivery marks another milestone in the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in Lesotho. The global supply of AstraZeneca has been delayed due to limited supply and delays in the export of the vaccine from India, as the country faces an intense wave of COVID-19,” she said. 

The delivery will allow the Ministry of Health to reach the first 36 000 Basotho, primarily health care workers and people with comorbidities in Maseru, to receive the second dose within the recommended schedule.

For his part, the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Lesotho, Dr Richard Banda said COVID-19 continues to take a toll on countries and individuals, highlighting that WHO will continue to work together with partners to support the government of Lesotho in ensuring that vaccines get to all eligible people for all people to be safe.  

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The shipment is the second tranche of many that will be allocated to Lesotho in the coming months through the COVAX Facility, which is working to accelerate the development of and access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccine is a critical step in the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Even as the vaccine is rolled out, all Basotho are encouraged to continue wearing facial masks, washing their hands regularly and practicing social distancing. 

COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF and the World Bank, civil society organisations and manufacturers.

In addition, COVAX is part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.  

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