Mali received its first batch of vaccines against COVID-19 on Friday, the first Sahel-Saharan country to receive shots through the COVAX initiative.
A plane carrying 396,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine landed in Bamako where President Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were among those waiting.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) March 5, 2021
The leaders were joined by members of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.
By Friday, Mali had registered 8,509 coronavirus cases and 358 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Baby Albibatou, 4 months, receives a vaccine at the health center in Zantiebougou from UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador @IlVeroUltimo. Thanks @UNICEF_Italia for your support to the children of #Mali! pic.twitter.com/DGodbxqQzI
— UNICEF Mali (@unicefmali) February 14, 2020
As other African countries, Mali is receiving the vaccines through the COVAX mechanism created to ensure that low- and middle-income countries can access the jabs.
The COVAX delays have pushed other African countries to seek more doses elsewhere, including via bilateral deals that can be unfavourable.
Ten million COVAX doses had been delivered to 11 African countries, including the most populous country in the continent, Nigeria, which received almost 4 million doses and started its vaccination campaign on Friday.
En présence de SEM Bah N’DAW, de la MSDS, du Représentant Spécial de MINUSMA, des Représentants de l’UNICEF et de l’OMS, le Mali reçoit ce 5 mars, son 1er lot de 396.000 vaccins à travers l’initiative COVAX. En tout 1.400.000 vaccins sont attendus jusqu’en fin mai 2021. pic.twitter.com/gqdybJQIWp
— Moctar OUANE (@MoctarOUANE_PM) March 5, 2021