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Gabon's president kicks off countrywide vaccination campaign

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-03-24 20:44

Gabon's vaccination campaign officially began on Tuesday with President Ali Bongo Ondimba and his wife, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, receiving a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China's Sinopharm.

In a statement released by Ondimba after receiving the jab, the president said 100,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine received on March 12 have started to be administered to the Gabonese population. The first to benefit in priority will be health personnel, defense and security forces, the elderly and people whose health is at risk.

Ondimba also said, "100,000 doses of the vaccine produced by the Chinese laboratory, Sinopharm, were delivered to us last week. As I have made a commitment, every inhabitant will be able to benefit from it. We are therefore entering the final phase of this war against COVID-19, against this invisible enemy." 

"The more we vaccinate, the better we will respect the barrier gestures, and the faster we will be able to lighten the protective measures and finally find the normal course of our lives," he added. 

While reminding his countrymen that the vaccine is by no means compulsory, Ondimba said vaccines are strongly recommended by national and international health authorities. He added that vaccine doses of the Sputnik-V vaccine from Russia are expected to be delivered in the country shortly. 

"I have instructed the government to do everything in its power to ensure that this battle is accompanied by a proactive educational approach," Ondimba said.

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