By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The plane carrying over 391,100 doses of the British vaccine touched down at the Nsimalen International Airport last Saturday around 7.15 pm local time. The Minister of Public Health, Dr Malachie Manaouda, several ambassadors and representatives of the United Nations Systems in Cameroon were on hand to receive the vaccines.
Minister Manaouda Malachie lauded the efforts of the government and its partners in their fight against the health pandemic. To him, the vaccines will be immediately dispatched to the various Regions to add to that of the Sinopharm Vaccine that was sent in the week.
Some 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine were made available to the country by the Chinese government as they looked to help their partner in its fight. More of this vaccine is expected in the weeks ahead.
The Resident Representative of the World Health Organization in Cameroon Fabien Nsabimana said they will continue to work closely with the government to ensure the vaccination exercise meets its target.
At the moment, health practitioners, those above 50, those with pre-existing conditions, teachers, and bike riders are the priority targets of the vaccine with officials hoping to acquire more vaccines to carter for the entire population.
Cameroon is set to make use of four different kinds of coronavirus vaccines in their efforts to roll back the spread of the virus in the country, according to Cameroon's National Scientific Council and National Immunization Technical Board.
Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Sputnik V have all been approved by the country after it launched the first phase of the vaccination against COVID19 on April 13, few hours after the arrival of 200,000 doses of the Chinese donated vaccine, Sinophram.
4,000,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson, the vaccine produced by the American multinational corporation are expected in Cameroon anytime soon. It is 66% effective, lower than other vaccines with 95% efficacy.
However, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration has called the use of the vaccine to be halted following reports of blood clots, similar to those reported by several European countries after the use of AstraZeneca. It is yet to be seen whether Cameroon will review its use after doing so with the AstraZeneca vaccine.