Sunday, July 3, 2022

Botswana covid-19 vaccination slows down again

Although Botswana’s vaccination rate has slowed down considerably in the past weeks, it is still the fastest in the region.

The country’s vaccination rate has slowed to 4,154 doses administered each day as at last week, down from the record breaking 93,259 doses administered each day as at the last week of March.

At the current rate, it is projected that it will take Botswana 111 more days to vaccinate the next 10 percent of the population. Based on the vaccination figures from the last week of March, it was projected that it would take Botswana 5 more days to vaccinate the next 10% of the population. Between then and now, the country has administered about 500 000 doses, assuming each person took two doses, it means Botswana has vaccinated about 250 000 citizens during the period – suggesting that the country’s vaccination campaign has shrugged off the anticipated hesitancy following the recent death of a South African citizen who was forced to take a Johnson & Johnson jab. And this is the good news. The bad news is that Botswana has so far administered only 1,920,000 out of the 4, 712 894 Covid 19 vaccine doses it has procured so far, and the vaccine shelf life is running out.

With the country’s vaccination rate having slowed down to 4,154 doses administered each day as at last week, indications are that more than a million doses of the life saving vaccine will expire on the shelves as previously predicted by the Sunday Standard.

The following are the vaccines that Botswana has procured and have now been fully delivered: A total of 100 800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine purchased through the COVAX facility; A total of 500 000 doses of the Moderna vaccine purchased through a bilateral arrangement. The last consignment arrived on 31 December 2021; More than 2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine purchased through both COVAX and bilateral arrangements. All these doses have been delivered in the country. The last delivery was made on 10 January 2022; Botswana had also purchased 100 000 doses of the COVAXIN vaccine from India. The vaccine was delivered in the country on 22 December 2021; A total of 1, 346, 400 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine purchased through the AVAT facility. All these doses have also been delivered in the country. The last consignment was delivered on 24 December 2021; Botswana had also purchased a total of 665 694 doses of the Sinovac vaccine through both the COVAX facility and through a bilateral arrangement. The last delivery was made in the country on 16 December 2021. In addition to these doses that the Botswana Government purchased, some vaccine donations were also received from the People’s Republic of China, Republic of India, Federal Republic of Germany, United States of America, Republic of France, Republic of South Africa and the Moderna Company.

This means Botswana has so far bought 4, 712 894 doses of various Covid-19 vaccines and this excludes donations from a number of countries.

According to the Reuters Botswana Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker, as at Friday this week, Botswana had administered at least 1,920,000 doses of Covid 19 vaccines since the country’s vaccination programme started.

This means the country’s balance of 2 million vaccine doses is either in storage, has expired or is facing expiry.

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