China’s Ambassador in Somalia receives first shot of China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

Qin Jian (L), Chinese Ambassador to Somalia, and Somalia's Minister of Health and Human Services Fawziya Abikar Nur sign handover certificates of COVID-19 vaccines donated by China in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, April 11, 2021. /Xinhua
Qin Jian (L), Chinese Ambassador to Somalia, and Somalia’s Minister of Health and Human Services Fawziya Abikar Nur sign handover certificates of COVID-19 vaccines donated by China in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, April 11, 2021. /Xinhua

China’s Ambassador in Somalia Qin Jian on Wednesday joined officials from the country in receiving their first jabs of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.

The Horn of African nation received 200,000 doses of the vaccine donated by China on Sunday to boost its fight against the pandemic.

Qin expressed his appreciation for healthcare workers in Somalia who have taken lead in the country’s efforts to contain the virus.

He also called for the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries in the field of medicine.

“The development of medicine field is an important aspect of the future of Somalia. Every year, many Somali students go to China to study medicine. The two countries should continue to strengthen cooperation in this field,” he wrote on Twitter.

By Wednesday, Somalia has reported 12,566 confirmed COVID-19 infections with 618 deaths.

The country rolled out its mass vaccination exercise on March 16, having received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the international COVAX vaccine initiative.

The exercise had given priority to the frontline health workers, essential service providers and the elderly.