Somalia, UN agencies to scale up COVID-19 vaccination
Published: Aug 29, 2022 07:19 PM
Somalia and two agencies of the United Nations on Sunday vowed to intensify efforts to scale up COVID-­19 vaccination across the country amid a severe drought that is ravaging several parts of the country.

The Somali ministry of health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF said that some of the challenges slowing down COVID-19 vaccination in Somalia include limited access to specific areas due to insecurity or logistical challenges.

UNICEF Representative in Somalia Wafaa Saeed Abdelatef said the government has made tangible progress in procuring safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

"The humanitarian situation calls for urgent measures to scale up ­COVID-19 vaccination and other lifesaving humanitarian assistance, especially for internally displaced persons, rural communities, and nomads," Saeed said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.

She said UNICEF will continue to work closely with the government and partners to ensure communities are aware of the benefits of being vaccinated.

The joint statement came after ­Somalia on Saturday received 1.64 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines from Sweden and the Czech Republic, donated through the COVAX Facility.

So far, around 2.3 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than 1.9 million people are partially vaccinated, according to the ministry of health.

The ongoing drought has brought the country to the brink of famine and left 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, and around 1 million people internally displaced.