The Minister of Health Semano Sekatle disclosed that the process of procurement of Covid-19 vaccine for the country has improved and the country will soon receive most of the vaccine doses commensurate with the country’s needs.
He indicated that, the Ministry is working hand in hand with the initiative called Sesiu Sa Letšoele Le Beta Phoho and the Trustee is still committed to help the Ministry of Health procure the vaccine.
“We had talks with the members of the Trustee and they are still committed to procure vaccine for Basotho. What is happening is that the country is expecting vaccine donation from China. The Trustee also wants to add up on the 100,000 doses China is going to donate. The Trustee is now awaiting China to give the quotation or the price of vaccine so that they can state with how much they will assist the country,” he said.
He indicated that there is another consignment of vaccine which has been procured by Vodacom Lesotho, which he pointed out that has already been paid for and is only awaiting shipment from the African Union.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health ‘Mateboho Mosebekoa indicated that, people have started receiving their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, adding that there are, to date more than 18,000 health professionals that have already received their second dose.
“Vaccination for the second dose will continue until all people that received their first dose have all taken their second. It is only after two weeks that we can say how many people came back for their second dose,” she said.
She pointed out that while there have been reports of people who have reacted and shown some mild symptoms of side effects from taking the vaccine, there have not been any severe reports of permanent illness or death since the symptoms go away after a few days.
The Astrazaneca vaccine second dose currently being administered is part of the 36 000 doses per consignment donated by the Covax Facility to Lesotho as part of efforts to aid the country in its mitigation efforts against the pandemic. The doses have been prioritized for inter-alia frontline health workers as well as other high risk professionals such media personnel.