High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique

Vaccine against Coronavirus available from mid-2021

Maputo, 10 Dec (AIM) – Mozambican Health Minister Armindo Tiago does not expect a vaccine against the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease to become available in Mozambique before June or July 2021.

Cited by the independent television station STV, Tiago stressed the importance of approval by the World Health Organisation (WHO) before committing to any particular vaccine.

The British government skipped this step and has been importing the Pfizer/BioNtec vaccine without approval from the international regulatory body. Tiago said that Mozambique will not venture down the same path but would instead wait for a vaccine that is certified by the WHO. “Mozambique is part of an initiative called COVAX, and another 187 countries are also members”, he said. “This initiative has the advantage of guaranteeing the country a safe and effective vaccine at an accessible cost”.

“The countries who are currently carrying out vaccinations, are doing so without the qualification of the WHO”, he continued. “As a country, because of the speed with which vaccines are being developed, we have decided that we will only take vaccines that have been pre-qualified by WHO”.

This meant that vaccination against the coronavirus in Mozambique will only begin in mid-2021. Meanwhile, added Tiago, the Ministry of Health is finalising the list of priority groups who will be first in line to receive the vaccine. He promised that when this list is complete, it will be published.

President Filipe Nyusi has stressed that vaccination must reach everybody. Speaking at a special session of the United Nations General Assembly, held virtually, President Nyusi said vaccines would only meet their goals if they are made available to the entire world, and if vaccine distribution is based on risk factors. “A global pandemic requires a global response”, he insisted.

President Nyusi warned that “the impact of Covid-19 on our economies and on our health systems will be lasting, and reversing it, over the medium and long term, will require additional efforts”.