— Foreign Minister Urges Liberians; receives 96,000 Indian-manufactured doses of Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccines
Foreign Minister, H.E. Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., and Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah have received 96,000 Indian manufacture doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, which is part of the 384,000 doses that are expected to be delivered to Liberia through the COVAX Facility.
Speaking minutes after the vaccines were presented to the government of Liberia by Dr. Peter Clements, Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to Liberia and Mr. Samuel Mawunganidze, UNICEF Deputy Representative for Programmes, Minister Kemayah on behalf of the government and people of Liberia acknowledged the gesture of the international community and especially India for the COVAX Facility.
Minister Kemayah said the government is thrilled to have received the initial doses of 96,000 doses of the COVID-19 Vaccines, stating that it will further demonstrate Liberia’s preparedness in the continuation of fighting the Virus, noting that what they have received further validates the astute leadership of President Weah.
He stated that the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health will leave no stone unturned in adherence to all health protocols and preventive measures.
Foreign Minister Kemayah assured citizens that the vaccine provided to Liberia has been tested and proven to be effective, stressing that the government of Liberia has as a prime obligation to ensure that the health of its people is maintained at all times.
He used the occasion to reassure citizens that the vaccines are safe, urging them to do away with conspiracy theory to the contrary. “I thank you and thanks to all our partners that with this partnership we will move from strength to strength.”
For his part, the United States Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Michael A. McCarthy applauded the Government of Liberia on its continued commitment to reducing the transmission and spread of COVID-19 in Liberia and in the region.
“Liberia’s successful fight against COVID-19 to date takes a critical leap forward with the arrival of vaccines to protect healthcare workers and the most vulnerable from this terrible disease. But the work doesn’t stop here. We hope Liberians will take the opportunity to receive safe and effective vaccines if offered. And, as always, we remind everyone to continue to wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, stay two arms-length apart in public, and seek treatment if you feel sick. Together we can put an end to this pandemic.”
The Ambassador said his country is committed to working with partners across the globe to end the devastating public health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He disclosed that President Joe Biden has announced $4 billion in funding to support the international vaccine initiative COVAX, which facilitates the procurement and equitable global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income economies supported through the COVAX Advanced Markets Commitment.
This contribution makes the United States the single largest contributor to the international response to COVID-19 and builds on decades of U.S. investments in global health, health security, and global health organizations, as well as demonstrating the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build better by strengthening multilateral cooperation on the response and advancing global health.
“We encourage other countries to make and fulfill concrete commitments to COVAX and to support expanding vaccine manufacturing and distribution to help end this pandemic to ensure future preparedness.”
For her part, Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina S.Jallah, lauded the World Health Organization, the United States Government, the COVAX Facility, including other partners for ensuring that Liberia becomes a recipient of the COVAX Vaccine.
Minister Jallah said that the consignment of COVAX Vaccine is very important to the government of Liberia’s continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Jallah noted that the government attaches great importance to the protection of its citizens, especially with the arrival COVAX Vaccine.
According to her, the ministry has already begun receiving calls from Liberians about their willingness to take the COVAX Vaccine.
To date, a total of 191 countries are forming part of the COVAX Facility, 92 of them low and middle-income economies eligible to have access to COVID-19 vaccines through Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Most of these are in Africa.
Vaccines will be procured and delivered to countries by the UNICEF Supply Division. The fast arrival of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines has shown that multilateralism and multi-actor partnerships work to solve the most pressing problems.
The turning over ceremony was graced by several dignitaries including the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Niels Scott, the Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU), Laurent Delahousse, the Ambassadors of France, Michaël Roux, Germany, Hubert Jäger, United Kingdom, Neil Bradley, and the United States, Michael A. McCarthy, as well as the Chargé d’Affaires of Ireland, Kate O’Donnell, Rep. Joseph N. Somwarbi, Chairman on Health, House of Representative and representatives of multilateral agencies.