After receiving a donation of 50,000 doses of the Oxford University approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday, the 22nd of January, from India, the Seychelles Islands have started the second phase of it’s vaccination campaign: Targeting the most vulnerable of the population being those 60 years of age and up.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine brand name “COVISHIELD” campaign started on Tuesday, the 26th of January, with the inoculation of the countries government and community leaders as well as the front-line and health workers.
Covishield was also offered to individuals whom were unable to take the SINNOPHARM vaccine which was and continues to be part of the phase one vaccination campaign.
The 50,000 doses of Covishield are expected to be enough to inoculate 25,000 individuals which in combination with SINNOPHARM should be able to provide protection for 50,000 residents of the small island archipelago that has a population of around 90,000 people.
The Minister of Health Mrs Peggy Vidot expressed that the campaign is going smoothly and that they are incredibly satisfied with the rapid progress they are making.
She announced that they have great confidence in these two vaccines being currently utilized in the country and that these will remain the only two given to the population. She added that there is a great possibility the Seychelles government would be purchasing additional doses of Covishield and Sinnopharm to ensure they are able to provide for the ones whom have yet to receive the vaccine. These are expected to arrive and dispatch very soon to meet the 70% immunization goal by mid-year 2021.
Florida Bijoux, the manager of the Extended Program for Immunization, informed the media that almost 20,000 doses of the Chinese made Sinnopharm vaccine, which was donated to Seychelles by the United Arab Emirates, have been administered translating roughly to about 28% of the island nations population having received their first dose.
Whilst the vaccination of the elderly population is a welcomed one, concerns remain around those aged 18 and below.
The Public Health Commissioner Dr Jude Gedeon stated that data is still being gathered on the “efficiency with the younger ones” in regards to the vaccines, adding that they are waiting on results of ongoing trials to ensure that it is effective for this age group, reiterating that “we have to wait for the information”. He continued saying that so far it’s mainly the adult and older individuals whom are being affected by the virus with very rare cases of children developing serious conditions or even dying.