Historic! Sudan receives its first COVID-19 vaccines
It becomes the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to receive vaccines against the coronavirus disease
A few minutes after 5:00 p.m. the plane touched down at Khartoum International Airport. The long-awaited aircraft delivered the first ever COVID-19 vaccines for Sudan with over 800,000 doses.
The nation becomes the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility
Almost a year since the first COVID-19 case was announced in Sudan on 13 March 2020, the arrival of the vaccines signify hope and will contribute to reducing the spread of the disease that has disrupted people’s lives, livelihoods and killed many.
UNICEF and WHO staff welcomed the delivery with thumbs up as the boxes with the vaccines were rolled out from the aircraft. It was indeed a joyous moment.
Present at the airport were Dr. Omer Mohamed Elnagieb, Sudan's Minister of Health; Abdullah Fadil, Representative of UNICEF Sudan, Dr. Nima Saeed Abid, World Health Organization Representative in Sudan, among other officials.
The vaccines were delivered with UNICEF’s support through COVAX, a coalition co-led by World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Global Vaccines Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), that ensures equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to countries regardless of their income.
The initial consignment of the vaccines will target the inoculation of health care workers and people aged 45 years and above. When health care workers are vaccinated first, they will be able to return to work and provide the much-needed health care services to the population.
Speaking at the airport, Abdullah Fadil, Representative of UNICEF Sudan said “No is safe unless all of us are safe. Thanks to GAVI, CEPI, WHO and UNICEF for the great partnership and to all the donors for providing the required funding that made this happen. The 800,000 doses received today will support vaccination of about 414,000 health care workers as soon as next week.”
“It’s a great feeling, full of gratitude towards our partners that made this possible through COVAX Facility. The vaccine is one of our strongest defence tools to fight the COVID-19 virus. We dedicate the first batch of the vaccines to the countless lives lost while fighting the pandemic from font line health workers and all the civilians. This is the first batch and we promise our citizens that we will have more, it will become available and free for all through the COVAX facility,”
“We are very pleased to announce that we have just received the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccines in Sudan. It has been a very difficult time for everyone and this is a huge step in curbing the pandemic. We are very proud of being part of this global COVAX partnership,”
Amna Osman – Supply and Logistics Officer, shared.
“From the airport, the COVID-19 vaccines will be taken directly to the Central cold store to be stored at the optimum temperature until it is distributed to all State to support vaccination next week,” said UNICEF Health Specialist - Shaza Ahmed
“The European Union that has supported the COVAX initiatives with over 1 billion Euros are very proud of the first arrival of the vaccines through the COVAX initiative, the first one here in the MENA region. We are proud and we hope this will help in the fight against COVID,” Robert van den Dool, Head of Delegation of the European Union in Sudan.