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Over million to be vaccinated for COVID-19

The newly appointed Minister of Health Semano Sekatle

March 2, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

IN a bid to bolster Lesotho’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and contain infections, at least 1.4 million Basotho are expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the month when it arrives in the country.

Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro made the announcement when addressing the nation on Sunday on the situation of the pandemic in Lesotho.

The vaccine, he said is expected to arrive in batches starting from early March, adding that the first batch will cover 430 000 people while the second one will be for 394 000 with the third catering for over 591 000 people.

The Prime Minister showed that the first targeted group to be vaccinated is the frontline workers including health professionals, immigration officers and media practitioners as well as people with chronic illnesses.
Second batch will include factory workers, mine workers, security forces, prisoners, teachers, learners, home affairs staff and traffic officers.

The third, he showed will include the rest of the nation excluding children under the age of 16.

Dr Majoro said a group of local business people has planned to come together to establish a trust fund in order to assist the government in ensuring a full coverage of the COVID-19 vaccination process.

He was hopeful that the fund will be launched before the end of March.

The National COVID-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) together with the Ministry of Health, he said are currently engaged in a campaign to raise public awareness about the COVID-19 vaccination in order to prevent misinformation.
He thus appealed to Basotho to appreciate the education provided and consider it as essential.

Education, he further showed will keep the people fully informed and ready for the vaccine.
Commenting on the vaccines at a press briefing earlier, the newly appointed Minister of Health Semano Sekatle said the expected vaccines include AztraZeneza, Pfizer as well as Johnson and Johnson.

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He said they will only administered to people aged 16 and above.

Mr Sekatle said the vaccines do not prevent one from catching the virus, but protect people from extreme illness that may lead to death, adding that the health ministry is ready to start the vaccination process the minute the vaccines arrive in the country.

Various countries around the globe including some African countries, South Africa in particular, have started receiving the COVID-19 vaccines and administering them with the main focus on frontline workers.
SA president Cyril Ramaphosa earlier showed that MTN made a donation to procure 7 million vaccines which will be made available to countries on the African continent, adding that through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team of the African Union, they have secured 1 billion vaccines for the entire continent.
Lesotho reported its first COVID-19 case on May 13, 2020. Today, there are 10 495 confirmed cases, 3 768 recoveries and 295 COVID-19 related deaths in the country.

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