By Poloko Mokhele
Lesotho is among thirteen African countries that have reached the World Health Organisation (WHO) target of fully vaccinating against COVID-19 more than ten percent of its population by the end of September.
According to information released by WHO during the weekend, out of the thirteen countries, Lesotho is number eight with 15 percent vaccinated as of September 15 2021, with 682 400 COVID-19 vaccines doses received, 332 950 have been administered. Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa are some of the countries behind Lesotho, with only 13 and 12 percent of their populations vaccinated, respectively.
Lesotho began its vaccination first phase of the roll-out in March this year with King Letsie III, the prime minister, ministers, essential workers, health workers, elderly people and media practitioners being the first to get their AstraZeneca vaccines, from the 36 000 doses which were donated by the COVAX facility.
The country later received 302 400 Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the United States of America and 108 000 more doses procured by the Sesiu sa Letṧoele le Beta Poho, a private-led sector initiative. The second phase of the roll-out was launched after the US donation.
In August, the National COVID-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) announced that all members of the public from the age of 18 were eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccines. In the same month, the country received 203 340 doses of Sinopharm from the Republic of China.
As part of the roll-out, on Friday Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro launched the vaccination roll-out at the Maseru Bus Stop area for street vendors and taxi drivers, in an effort to ensure that everyone gets vaccinated.