This is the second batch of Covid-19 vaccines Senegal has received through the scheme, after an initial 324,000 AstraZeneca doses arrived in March.
It is understood that the arrival of the latest batch is timely as Senegal’s supply of vaccines is running low with thousands of people due for their second jabs.
According to local media reports, most of Senegal’s 16 million citizens have yet to receive a first dose.
According to the COVAX proramme, over 400,000 people in the West African nation have been vaccinated.
France’s donation to Senegal follows pledges from several large economies to increase contributions to COVAX, which is backed by the WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).
COVAX aims to secure two billion vaccine doses for lower-income countries by the end of 2021.
Senegal has recorded around 41,500 Covid-19 cases and 1,142 deaths since the pandemic began, according to figures from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
Some 1.5 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only around one percent of them in Africa, according to WHO.
In January, WHO called for a full commitment to COVAX – the global vaccine-sharing scheme.
Speaking at a WHO executive board session, the health organisation’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said it was not fair for younger, healthy people in richer nations to get injections before vulnerable people in poorer countries.
‘I need to be blunt: the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries’, he said.
Photo source: Africa CDC