Madagascar received its first anti-covid-19 vaccines on Saturday through the United Nations Covax program after months of denial of the severity of the epidemic by national authorities.
A resurgence of the pandemic last month finally forced President Andry Rajoelina to agree to a mass vaccination process, on top of the herbal potions recommendations he has always advocated.
A first shipment of 250,000 Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines arrived Saturday in the large island of the Indian Ocean, welcomed by a delegation of United Nations and government officials, but in the notable absence of President Rajoelina.
Madagascan Minister of Health Jean Louis Hanitrala Rakotovao said the vaccines would be administered throughout the country in two phases, without giving further details.
“Vaccination is part of a set of effective prevention measures, which are in addition to the strategies already put in place by the State,” he said.
The Malagasy government has strictly supervised its communication on the pandemic and recognized at the beginning of May 38,874 cases of coronavirus, for 716 deaths.