Lesotho has received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility, according to media reports Thursday.
Some 36,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine licensed to the Serum Institute of India, have been delivered to Lesotho as an initial pitch, the South Africa-based Sunday Times reported Thursday.
“This is a momentous occasion,” the Sunday Times website quoted Dr. Richard Banda, the WHO representative to Lesotho, as saying.
“COVID-19 has taken a toll on countries around the world and Lesotho is no exception. We know this is the first step and we congratulate the government of Lesotho, especially the Ministry of Health for its tireless efforts to protect Basotho [the country's people] and contain the spread of the virus,” Banda added.
Lesotho has so far confirmed over 300 coronavirus-related deaths and 10,500 infections, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.
COVAX is co-led by the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization. It aims to accelerate the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines, and guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
According to Gavi, the COVAX Facility plans to deliver no less than 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally by the end of this year.