Seychelles to receive 350,000 COVID vaccines; campaign could begin in January
The president said that the COVID vaccination in Seychelles can start as soon as the Ministry of Health gives the go-ahead. (Marco Verch Flickr) Photo License: CC BY 2.0
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles will receive 350,000 COVID-19 vaccines through three different donations, President Wavel Ramkalawan announced in a virtual interview with the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) on Thursday.
The President said he hopes that the vaccination program will begin in the island nation in January.
Ramkalawan said that 100,000 Moderna vaccines developed by the United States will be donated by an anonymous investor.
"There is a second investor who is ready to give us 200,000 vaccines and thirdly Abu Dhabi is ready to give us 50,000 vaccines immediately," he added.
The donation from Abu Dhabi is of the China state-owned Sinopharm COVID vaccines. Two Arab nations, the UAE and Bahrain, have become the first countries to approve a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine.
The world's first mass vaccination campaigns against the virus started to roll out in the United Kingdom and the United States, where millions of people are expected to be vaccinated this week.
The president said that the COVID vaccination in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, can start as soon as the Ministry of Health gives the go-ahead.
"If we say yes, in January we can start vaccinating our people. I hope that the Ministry reaches a decision quickly so that in January we can start giving the vaccines and that will put us ahead of our competitors," said Ramkalawan.
The chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Danny Louange told SNA on Friday that a team is already working on a report and will be able to provide more information next week.
The head of state announced that a group of Seychellois has also agreed to donate SCR 3 million ($142,000) for the purchase of vaccines.
"So we have many possibilities and people really want Seychelles to reopen," said Ramkalawan.
The Seychelles' economy is heavily dependent on the tourism sector and has been hit hard by the downturn in travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccination of Seychellois citizens will be a welcome boost to the tourism industry as the island nation will be able to receive more visitors knowing that its population is safe.
Seychelles currently has 21 active cases of COVID-19; no deaths have been recorded.