Seychelles gets 50,000 doses of SINOPHARM Covid-19 vaccine |23 December 2020
A consignment of 50,000 doses of a China-manufactured Covid-19 vaccine reached Seychelles yesterday evening courtesy of the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Ministry of Health has welcomed the donation as a great gesture of friendship and solidarity prevailing between the two nations.
The chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange, met with the press yesterday evening to provide us with more details.
“We want to announce that 50,000 doses of the vaccine SINOPHARM arrived in Seychelles at 6pm today (Tuesday) and this is part of the donation received from the government of the UAE. It is the batch of vaccines that President Wavel Ramkalawan negotiated with the UAE government. UAE has already started using this batch of vaccines.”
SINOPHARM, the manufacturer of the vaccine, is an internationally renowned company and the Covid-19 vaccine it produces has a significant degree of efficacy. “As soon as the vaccines land, all arrangements have been made to store them at the Seychelles Hospital. 50,000 doses will benefit only 25 000 people as this specific vaccine has to be taken in two doses,” explained Dr Louange.
Dr Louange also noted that a team of more than 20 people are working on the deployment of the vaccines and how they will be administered.
“This is only the first batch and we have also been told that we will receive donations of other types of vaccine as well. For more than three weeks now, our team comprising several specialists are working on this and details of when we will administer the first vaccine will be given later on,” added Dr Louange.
He also explained that the countries that are already administering vaccine to their population are the ones where Covid-19 management has gone out of hand. “We are lucky that in Seychelles we are not in a situation where we have to rush to administer the vaccines. When we will administer the vaccines, it will be done with clear evidence and make sure it is safe for our population. Already we know that the people who are at risk (health workers, essential workers and old people) will be the first ones to receiv the vaccines. Any vaccine is not being imposed on people. People will have the choice and we will have a campaign to educate the population on the vaccines.
The Public Health Authority National Immunisation Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) has said that Seychelles is working on the policy as well as the technical and administrative details for vaccine roll out.
Dr Louange noted that the vaccine has the same technology as other vaccines and they are already prepared to keep the cold chain in order to preserve the vaccines.
“We also thank all our partners like Hunt Deltel, Land Marine among others for facilitating the arrival of this first consignment,” added Dr Louange.
“As a policy, all medicines and vaccines that we administer in Seychelles must first receive pre-qualification from the World Health Organisation,” said the Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon.
In the case of a pandemic like Covid-19, the Ministry of Health confirms that the green light to roll out the vaccine can also come from reputable international organisations such as the Food and Drug Administration of the United States, the Centre for Disease Control of the United States, the China Centre for Disease Control and the European Medicines Agency.
The UAE offered the vaccines to Seychelles during the recent visit of the head of state of Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan, to that country. Other benefactors have made similar offers, including the donation of 100,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
By Vidya Gappy/Ministry of Health press release