Over 7,400 refugees receive COVID-19 jabs in Ethiopia: UNHCR

A health worker administers a dose of the AstraZeneca Plc Covid-19 vaccine to a resident at Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, Patrick Meinhardt/Getty Images

Some 7,425 refugees presently residing in Ethiopia have received COVID-19 jabs, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said.

The UN refugee agency said in its latest situation update issued on Wednesday that some 4,481 of the refugees were fully vaccinated, who meet the government’s prioritization criteria.

According to the latest figures from UNHCR, Ethiopia is the third-largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, sheltering 806,374 registered refugees and asylum-seekers as of the end of October 2021. The overwhelming majority originate from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan.

In April, Ethiopia’s National Agency for Refugees and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) had in April disclosed the commencement of giving COVID-19 jabs to refugees residing across camps in the East African country.

The COVID-19 vaccine jabs rollout to refugees is being done in collaboration with various stakeholders including the UNHCR, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI).

UNHCR, the Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) and partners, continue to reinforce prevention measures in the refugee camps and sites hosting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Amid a national push for vaccination, Ethiopia has so far administered 5,084,917 COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to the figures from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.