Coronavirus vaccines are gradually rolling into Africa as countries increasingly roll out nationwide inoculation.
The issue of skepticism however remains rife for which reason governments have been tasked with increasing education and building public confidence around the safety of vaccines.
One of the key measures of ensuring vaccine safety has been for African leaders and top government officials to publicly receive their COVID-19 jabs.
With that, a number of people it is believed will reconsider their position on the vaccines whiles for many others, the doubts will continue to linger. GhanaWeb looks at the number of African leaders to have publicly received their shots.
March 11: Kagame receives shot
Rwanda received first doses of COVID-19 vaccines through an independent initiative. The doses were said to be from Moderna.
The COVAX facility have since delivered AstraZeneca and Pfizer consignment to the East African country.
It is today, however, that president Kagame and his wife received their shot. So far the nationwide vaccination rollout that has seen more than 230,000 people vaccinated, the presidency said.
Kagame and First Lady Jeannette received their #COVID-19 vaccines at King Faisal Hospital.
March 10: Gambia president receives vaccine
“Let me assure you that the WHO has confirmed the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for the prevention and control of Covid-19,” the words of president Adama Barrow as he officially launched the national vaccination rollout.
The Gambia received 36,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jabs under the WHO-led COVAX facility. Like other African countries, frontline health workers and other priority groups are receiving their jabs first.
March 6: Buhari receives jab at presidency
“The vaccine offers hope for a safe country, free of Coronavirus. I similarly urge all eligible Nigerians to present themselves and be vaccinated in accordance with the order of priority already mapped out, at the various authorized designated centres ONLY,” Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari said after receiving his shot.
He was not the first in Nigeria to receive a shot. The country has received the highest number of shots deployed to Africa by the COVAX initiative – nearly 4 million doses were flown into Abuja.
I wish to commend it to all eligible Nigerians, to do same so that we can be protected from the virus. I urge all state governments, traditional and religious leaders, to take the lead in the mobilization effort within their environment and spheres of influence. pic.twitter.com/sAbCbYLSEg
March 1: Akufo-Addo takes first COVAX jab
Ghana made double history with the global equitable vaccine facility, COVAX platform. The first vaccine delivery of the platform was to Ghana and today, president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, became the first person the world over to receive a COVAX jab.
He took the jab at the 37 Military Hospital in the capital Accra. He was accompanied by his wife Rebecca Akufo-Addo. Ghana last week received 600,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute of India, AZ/SII.
Ghana is aiming to vaccinate some 20 million of the population in order to achieve herd immunity. Virus cases continue to drop after a spike earlier this year.
15 February: Equatorial Guinea’s Nguema takes jab
On Monday 15th February 2021, the President of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, received his first dose of the vaccine against Covid-19.
It took place at the People’s Palace in Malabo, where doctors from the La Paz Medical Centre in Sipopo explained the modalities associated with the doses before administering it to the president.
The country had received 200,000 doses of the vaccine as a donation from the Chinese government through Sinopharm, the Chinese manufacturers.
After receiving the intra-muscular injection of Sars-Cov Vero Cell Inactivated, the president also received the corresponding vaccination card.
17 February: Cyril Ramaphosa takes first jab in SA
South Africa administered its first COVID-19 vaccine in mid-February with President Cyril Ramaphosa getting the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot alongside health workers. The first shot was given at the Khayelitsha District Hospital in Cape Town.
Ramaphosa said in a statement that 80,000 J&J doses had been prepared for distribution across the country and that his inoculation was to demonstrate his government’s confidence in the vaccine.
The J&J vaccine is currently being rolled out initially as a research study to further evaluate it in the field, with up to 500,000 health workers set to be immunised.
25 February: Macky Sall takes Sinopharm jab on Live TV
Senegal President Macky Sall last week took his coronavirus shot live on television. “Just vaccinated for #Covid19. Hope is allowed for all. I appeal to the entire population to do the same.
“Together, we have been fighting an enemy who threatens our health and lives. Today that we have the weapon to reduce the spread of our enemy or even eliminate it, we must not miss the opportunity,” his post on Facebook read in part.
The West African nation took delivery of its first vaccine consignment from China’s Sinopharm early last week but it was Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr who took the first shot publicly. Senegal bought the doses and decided to donate 10,000 jabs each to neighbouring Equatorial Guinea and The Gambia.
January 10: Seychelles president takes first COVAX jab
The Indian Ocean archipelago of the Seychelles began vaccinating its population against the coronavirus on Jan 10, 2021.
The country’s president, Wavel Ramkalawan, was the first to receive the jab, an event broadcast on live television at a hospital in the capital Victoria. Several dozen public figures joined him.
“It’s exactly as if I was getting any vaccine,” he said, encouraging all people on the island nation to get the injection.
The country is using the Chinese vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm with its subsidiary the China National Biotec Group.
Over in Zimbabwe, the vice president and health minister Constantino Chiwenga was the first to receive a jab. The southern African country also received a donation of shots from China’s Sinopharm manufacturers.
It is expected that in the coming days, some more African leaders will opt to publicly receive their jabs when vaccines finally arrive. GhanaWeb will keep our readers updated as and when.