Liberia Receives 96,000 Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccines

Arrival of the COVID-19 Vaccines at the RIA

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., and the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah, on Friday, March 5, 2021 at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) received 96,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, which is part of the 384,000 doses expected to be delivered to Liberia through the COVAX Facility.

   Speaking minutes after the vaccines were presented to the government of Liberia by Dr. Peter Clements, Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to Liberia, and Samuel Mawunganidze, UNICEF Deputy Representative for Programs, Minister Kemayah said on behalf of Dr. George M. Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, the government and people of Liberia extend their heartiest gratitude to the international partners through whom Liberia had benefited from COVAX Facility.

   Minister Kemayah said the government is thrilled with the initial doses of 96,000 doses of the COVID-19 Vaccines, stating that it will further demonstrate Liberia’s preparedness in continuation of fighting the Virus, noting that what they have received further demonstrates the astute leadership of President Weah.

   He stated that the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health will leave no stone unturned in the adherence to all health protocol and preventive measures.

   Foreign Minister Kemayah assured citizens that the vaccine provided to Liberia has been tested, proven to be fate, stating the Government of Liberia (GOL) has as its prime obligation to ensure that the health of its people is maintained at all times.

   He used the occasion to reassure citizens that the vaccines are safe and they must do away with every conspiracy theory to the contrary. “I thank you and thanks to all our partners, that with this partnership we will move from strength to strength,” he said.

   The United States Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Michael A. McCarthy, congratulated the Government of Liberia (GOL) on their continued commitment to reducing the transmission and halting the spread of COVID-19 in Liberia and in the region.  “Liberia’s successful fight against COVID-19 to date takes a critical leap forward with the arrival of vaccines to protect health care workers and the most vulnerable from this terrible disease.  But the work doesn’t stop here. We hope Liberians will take the opportunity to receive safe and effective vaccines if offered.  And, as always, we remind everyone to continue to wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, stay two arms-length apart in public, and seek treatment if you feel sick. Together we can put an end to this pandemic,” Ambassador McCarthy stated.

   He continued, “The United States is committed to working with partners across the globe to end the devastating public health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this commitment, President Joe Biden announced $4 billion in funding to support the international vaccine initiative COVAX, which facilitates procurement and equitable global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, including to 92 low- and middle-income economies supported through the COVAX Advanced Markets Commitment.  This contribution makes the United States the single largest contributor to the international response to COVID-19 and builds on decades of U.S. investments in global health, health security, and global health organizations, as well as demonstrating the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build back better by strengthening multilateral cooperation on the response and advancing global health.  We encourage other countries to make and fulfill concrete commitments to COVAX and to support expanding vaccine manufacturing and distribution to help end this pandemic and ensure future preparedness.”

   For her part, the Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah, lauded the World Health Organization, the United States Government, the COVAX Facility, including other partners for ensuring Liberia is a recipient of the COVAX Vaccine.

   Minister Jallah said that the consignment of COVAX Vaccine is very important to the government of Liberia’s continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

   Dr. Jallah noted that the government attaches great importance to the protection of its citizens, especially with the arrival COVAX Vaccine.

   She said they have already begun to receive calls from Liberians who are willing to take the COVAX Vaccine, noting that this must be echoed across the country.

   To date, a total of 191 countries participate in the COVAX Facility, 92 of them low and middle-income economies eligible to get access to COVID-19 vaccines through Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Most of these are in Africa.

   Vaccines will be procured and delivered to countries by the UNICEF Supply Division. The fast arrival of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines has shown that multilateralism and multi-actor partnerships work to solve the most pressing problems.

   The turning over ceremony was graced by several dignitaries, including the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Niels Scott, the Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU), Laurent Delahousse, the Ambassadors of France, Michaël Roux, Germany, Hubert Jäger, United Kingdom, Neil Bradley, and the United States, Michael A. McCarthy, as well as the Chargé d’Affaires of Ireland, Kate O’Donnell, Rep. Joseph N. Somwarbi, Chairman on Health, House of Representative and other representatives of multilateral agencies.

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