Cameroon receives first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from China

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China-donated medical equipment is seen during a handover ceremony in Yaounde, Cameroon, on March 15, 2021. The Yaounde Central Hospital, one of the largest designated hospitals for COVID-19 treatment in Cameroon, received a batch of medical equipment donated by China to fight against the novel coronavirus. (Xinhua/Qiao Benxiao)
China-donated medical equipment is seen during a handover ceremony in Yaounde, Cameroon, on March 15, 2021. The Yaounde Central Hospital, one of the largest designated hospitals for COVID-19 treatment in Cameroon, received a batch of medical equipment donated by China to fight against the novel coronavirus. (Xinhua/Qiao Benxiao)

The first batch of China’s Sinopharm vaccines arrived in Cameroon Sunday evening as the country struggles to contain a new surge of COVID-19 infections.

It is the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines arriving from outside the central African country, where the pandemic broke out in March last year.

The Chinese vaccines were received by Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute at the Nsimalen International Airport in the capital Yaounde.

“I would like to thank the Chinese government and the Chinese people for this gift which is a testimony of good relations we have with China,” Ngute told the press.

He said that the government will “as from today” begin dispatching the vaccines, with health workers being prioritized.

“As far as I am concerned, I am prepared to take this vaccine anytime because health professionals have told us that is it the best way to end this pandemic which is in our country for over a year now,” Ngute said.

Speaking to the press at the handover ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Cameroon Wang Yingwu said the batch of vaccines is a reflection of the friendly relations between the two countries, which this year celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.

Wang said that being safe and effective and are widely trusted by the international community, Chinese vaccines can surely offer much help to Cameroon’s fight against COVID-19.

He also said China would honor its commitment to working toward a fair distribution of vaccines in the world, especially in developing countries.

Cameroon had planned to introduce the AstraZeneca vaccines before the government suspended the plan in March due to safety concerns

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