Botswana to start COVID-19 vaccination in March

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GABORONE, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — Botswana plans to start COVID-19 vaccination before the end of March and expects to complete the process by the end of December 2021, said Health Minister Edwin Dikoloti on Wednesday.

In his address aired on national television, Dikoloti said Botswana has already paid 10 million U.S. dollars to secure vaccines through different channels.

The government has secured enough doses through COVAX to immunize its frontline workers at a cost of 2.9 million U.S. dollars. The first batch of vaccines from COVAX are expected to arrive at the end of February or start of March, and vaccine rollout is expected to start in exactly a month from now, Dikoloti said.

A further 7.1 million U.S. dollars was paid to the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), which has to date secured 270 million vaccine doses for African countries including Botswana. The vaccines from AVATT are expected to arrive between April and December 2021, the minister said, adding that the government continues to engage with other stakeholders including vaccine manufacturers. to secure adequate doses for the country’s 2.3 million population.

The southern African country has so far recorded 25,802 confirmed cases and 226 deaths. Enditem

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