KIGALI, RWANDA (AFP) – Rwanda has begun vaccinating high-risk groups such as frontline healthcare workers with a limited number of COVID-19 jabs, the Health Ministry announced on Sunday.
In a statement posted on Twitter the ministry said the vaccinations had begun with “World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccines acquired through international partnerships in limited quantities.”
“This initial phase will be followed by a wider roll-out this month with supplies expected from” the global COVAX initiative to provide vaccines as well as an African Union programme.
A source at the Health Ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, said vaccinations had begun on Thursday.
Some government officials told AFP that they had also already received the vaccination.
A separate health official, also asking not to be named, said that the government had acquired an initial 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
“Next the government expects to acquire 128,000 doses and another batch of 96,000 doses before the end of February,” the source said.
“After that the government will be negotiating for more doses in short intervals.”
Rwanda is the first country to begin vaccinations in East Africa.
The country of 12 million people has recorded just over 17,000 cases and 236 deaths, having implemented some of the strictest anti-coronavirus measures on the continent.