One of the world’s last three countries to administer COVID-19 vaccines has started giving out doses as the East African nation of Burundi launched its national campaign
The vaccinations started in the commercial capital, Bujumbura, though health workers told The Associated Press that barely more than a dozen people had received doses by mid-afternoon. Recipients included the ministers of health and security.
Burundi’s previous government under the late President Pierre Nkurunziza had been criticized for taking the pandemic lightly.
The vaccination campaign began after Burundi received a half-million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.
Targeted groups for the doses are health workers, the elderly and people with incurable diseases, Health Minister Thaddee Ndikumana said last week.
But hesitation remains among some officials. Le dimanche, Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni asserted, sans preuve, that the government has the responsibility to tell citizens that “the vaccine has a lot of consequences not even known by the specialists who created the vaccine.”