Just twelve days after starting its vaccination campaign against COVID-19, Seychelles has now given the first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine to more than 10% of its population.
“In the next two weeks, we hope to intensify the campaign and reach 25% of the population
with the first dose. Soon after, we will begin the second dose,” says Dr Bernard Valentin, principal secretary of the health ministry.
Seychelles is now very high on the list of countries with an advanced COVID-19 vaccination programme. More than 100 health care workers from all over the country, broken down into smaller teams, constitute the vaccination squadron. Supporting them from behind is an additional legion of administrators who make sure that all the logistics for the programme are in place. Never has the Ministry of Health undertaken such a massive vaccination campaign.
“The staff are fully committed and energized by the strong willingness of the public to receive the vaccine,” adds Dr Bernard Valentin.
“Since the start of the campaign, there has not been any major side effect,” says Florida Bijoux, manager of the expanded programme of immunization. “Interest on the part of the people to receive their jab is continually growing.”
Seychelles entered into an abrupt phase of community transmission of COVID-19 at the end of December 2020 with cases of COVID-19 progressively rising on all three of the main islands. Recent figures indicate that over 700 people in total have contracted the infection since the first positive case in March 2020. Over 550 of cases have recovered.
A new consignment of vaccines, this time COVISHIELD vaccine of the Oxford-Astra-Zeneca type and made by Serum Institute of India will reach the country later this month.