Somalia has signed a deal with Sinopharm, the Chinese company that produces the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, for the delivery of 200,000 doses.
The Horn of Africa nation’s ambassador in Beijing, Awale Kullane, signed the agreement on behalf of his country in a ceremony witnessed by deputy head of mission, Said Mire.
The vaccines, once in Somalia, will boost the country’s mass vaccination drive.
The country rolled out its mass inoculations on March 16, having received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the international COVAX vaccine initiative. Priority is given to groups considered to be at high risk, including healthcare workers, essential service providers and the elderly.
By Wednesday, Somalia had reported a total of 11,978 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 576 deaths, according to the latest figures from its health ministry.
The acquisition of the Chinese-manufactured vaccines comes amid calls by international leaders and the World Health Organization for countries to share vaccines in order to ensure joint efforts against the pandemic globally.