Somalia gets over 300,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson jab

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Horn of Africa country aiming to boost coverage with single-shot vaccine donated by US

Somalia received 302,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, donated by the US through the COVAX facility, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Thanking the US for the donation in a statement late Thursday, Somalia’s Health Ministry said this was the first batch of the single-shot vaccine that will be distributed in the country.

Health Minister Dr. Fawziya Abikar Nur said the donation would be “crucial in our continued fight against COVID-19.”

The Horn of Africa country has so far recorded 16,103 cases and 864 deaths, according to official data.

The Health Ministry acknowledged that “COVID-19 vaccination uptake among the general population remains low” in Somalia.

As of Aug. 11, only 93,458 people had been fully vaccinated in the country of over 15 million, it said.

The US donation will help Somalia “expand the COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the country and enable additional Somalis to be fully vaccinated with one shot,” read the statement.

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