The newly arrived United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Jim Wright and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Country Director Dr. Rachel Idowu had joined Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah, Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah, and other dignitaries to kick off the Johnson & Johnson vaccination campaign.
The event, which took place at Paynesville City Hall, also included performances by Cultural Ambassador Juli Endee, COVID-19 testing, and the launch of the new digital vaccination tracking system.
On July 25, the donation of 302,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the United States via COVAX arrived in Liberia. This donation is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s global efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Government coordinated closely with the African Union and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to make the donation possible.
USAID Mission Director Wright applauded the Ministry of Health’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Liberia, especially its commitment to vaccinating the Liberian people: “The decision to send the vaccines to Liberia was due in no small measure to Liberia’s successful handling of the first tranche of vaccines.”
He also emphasized the safety and effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, “Let me be clear: This is a safe vaccine. U.S. regulators approved the J&J vaccine last February. Since then, almost 13.5 million Americans have received this very same vaccine, and tens of thousands more are receiving it every day.
Foreign Minister Kemayah urged Liberians to take advantage of the opportunity to protect themselves and their neighbors, “The more people that take this vaccine, the better it is for our community.” Health Minister Jallah thanked everyone for doing a good job with COVID-19 spread prevention, especially the increased mask-wearing, “What we saw a few weeks ago, we don’t want to see again.” She continued, “I want to thank everyone who helped make this donation and vaccine roll-out possible, so we can declare to the world: Liberians are being vaccinated!” The Ministry of Health released an informational flyer describing each vaccine and the location of vaccination sites. It can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website.