Botswana Vice President receives COVID-19 vaccines

First consignment brings 24 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

UNICEF Communications
COVAX COVID-19 Handover Ceremony
UNICEF Botswana
30 March 2021

GABORONE— UNICEF has delivered the first shipment of 24 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as part of the first allocation of the over 100 000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines procured by the Government of Botswana from the COVAX Facility.  

UNICEF Representative Dr. Joan Matji officially handed over the first consignment to the Vice President of Botswana, His Honour Mr. Slumber Tsogwane. “Availability of vaccines will go a long way in protecting the lives of Batswana from the COVD-19 scourge. Each step on this journey brings us further along the path to recovery for Batswana children and their families affected by COVID-19 and importantly the start of the vaccination roll-out brings immense hope for the population of Botswana”- Dr. Matji pointed out. 

Speaking during the ceremony, Vice President Tsogwane said Botswana is prepared to forgo some development projects in order to avail resources for prevention of COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the country aims to have vaccinated the whole population by the end of the year.  Speaking on behalf of countries that contribute towards  the COVAX Facility, Ambassador Jan Sadek of the EU Delegation to Botswana noted that “this is a festive moment and standing here representing the international partners, it is a pleasure for me to congratulate the Government and people of Botswana on this important occasion,” he said. 

In addition, UNICEF committed to continue to provide technical support to the Ministry of Health and Wellness on Risk Communication and Community Engagement and demand generation interventions for COVID 19 prevention and vaccine roll out. The Minister of Health and Wellness, The Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ambassadors of the COVAX supporting country were among the dignitaries that were present at the handover ceremony at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.  The first shipment of COVAX vaccines was delivered by Ethiopian Airlines.