By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health has approved Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine to be administered to its population against the coronavirus. The information was made known by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) on March 19.
The country has thus declined the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The country was set to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine this week but after a host of countries suspended the use of the vaccine, the country equally did the same.
In a tweet on March 12, Dr Manaouda Malachie stated: “As the side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine continue to be debated, I would like to make it clear that I have submitted the matter to the Scientific Council and NITAG for advice. The expectation is that we will not use this vaccine while there are still doubts about its effects.”
There are no strong allergies caused by the Sputnik V vaccine, according to officials. The efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.65 as confirmed by the data published in the Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals; it is one of three vaccines in the world with an efficacy of over 90%. Sputnik V is reported to provide full protection against severe cases of COVID-19.
The Sputnik V Vaccine has been approved by some 53 countries globally, making the vaccine the second amongst the coronavirus vaccines globally in terms of the number of approvals issued by government regulators, pharmiweb reported.
“Africa is among the leaders in terms of the number of approval of Sputnik V. We welcome the decision of the Ministry of Health of Cameroon which will help the population of the country to obtain access to one of the best solutions against coronavirus in the world,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russia Direct Investment Fund said as quoted by Pharmieweb.
It should be recalled that the vaccine is not mandatory for the Cameroonian population. With an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country as days go by inhabitants have been urged to scrupulously respect the barrier measures that have been put in place like as the frequent washing of hands or the use of hand sanitisers, wearing of facemasks in public spaces and observing social distancing.
As of March 21, the country counts 40,622 confirmed cases with 35,261 recovered. There have been 601 deaths recorded since the first confirmed case was recorded in the country in March 2020.