WB Boosts COVID-19 Fight -Brings In Country 108K Additional J&J Vaccine Doses

By Rancy S. Teewia

Following the arrival of a consignment of 303,400 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines from the United States Government on July 25, 2021, the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health, has received another batch of 108,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines from the People’s Republic of Belgium.

The batch of 108,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines from Brussels Belgium is a contribution from the World Bank (WB) to the Government of Liberia to continue the fight against the pandemic.

Marking remarks on Friday September 3, 2021, during the arrival the vaccines at the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County, the World Bank Country Manager to Liberia Dr. Khwima Nthara said the World Bank approved US$ 8million additional financing on June 30 of this year to support both the acquisition and equitable deployment of vaccines.

Dr. Nthara noted that the money approved will contribute to the purchase of 386,452 Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses through African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), and will help strengthen vaccine deployment, so that doses will be translate into effective and equitable vaccinations.

Dr. Nthara further asserted, “And this includes support to logistics and cold chain, needed supplies to carry out vaccination, training vaccination teams and demand generation activities,”

The World Bank-Liberia Manger said the institution is working closely with the Liberian authorities, colleagues from AVAT and UNICEF to finalize the internal processes for the financing of Johnson and Johnson vaccines through the AVAT mechanism.

Dr. Nthara also noted that the World Bank remains supportive of Liberia’s efforts to reach herd immunity, and encouraged the general public to make use of the opportunity by the World Bank by taking the vaccines.

“We look forward to continuing this strong and fruitful collaboration with all stakeholders,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the World Bank – Liberia Manager has extended his felicitations to the Liberian Government and its partners, notably UNICEF, African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and the African Union for delivery of the 108,000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

“We believe that these vaccines will contribute to the government’s goal of vaccinating 60% of eligible Liberians and moving towards herd immunity,” Dr. Nthara added.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, has applauded the World Bank for their uncounted contributions to Liberia during this time distress, and also for their support to the growth and development of the country.

In a related development, the Liberian Health Minister has been alarmed over the delinquency of Liberian citizens in taking their vaccines, both Johnson and Johnson and the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccines.

Dr. Jallah is calling on the general public to reach out to the Ministry of Health and its partners to explain if there is any reason why they are refusing to take their vaccines. She said the Ministry of Health is willing to go to Churches, Mosques, Communities and Homes to administer the vaccines, adding that the ministry’s objective is to ensure that every Liberian from age 18 and above is vaccinated.

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