Monrovia, Liberia-The government of the United States of America is assisting capacity in Liberia to battle the coronavirus pandemic as that government announces the donation of 168,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
The US Embassy announced the arrival of the additional jabs recently. The donation was brought in-country through the COVAX Facility, which works in collaboration with African Union and Africa CDC and other immunization partners including UNICEF.
Upon arrival, the new batch was received by Minister of Health Wilhelmina Jallah, US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Joel Maybury, and UNICEF Country Director Laila Gad at Harvest Intercontinental Cathedral in Monrovia early this week.
“The US is doing a lot for us and we are grateful for their assistance,” Minister Jallah said. We want to tell our people that more doses of the vaccines are now in the country. We just need to get to the centers and get vaccinated. This is the only way we can have this virus defeated.”
Deputy Chief of Mission Maybury Said in a statement released by the Embassy that the donations are meant to save lives. “We are sharing these doses safely, equitably, and with no strings attached. We are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives,” he noted.
He expressed full confidence in the vaccines, “These vaccines are safe and effective. We are approaching Seven billion total vaccine shots given across 184 countries.”
The DCM urged Liberians not to wait to get vaccinated. “My last message to you is to don’t wait. Protect yourself now so you are prepared just in case another wave hits Liberia. These vaccines are safe, effective, available, and free. It just takes a moment, and it offers a path back to normalcy.”
The statement noted also that safe and effective vaccines are “our best tool to end the pandemic and the United States has committed to providing 1.1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses worldwide.”
The latest batch brings the number of doses of the J&J vaccine provided to Liberia from the United States to 470,400. Together, this donation, which arrived at Roberts International Airport, via COVAX on October 23, along with the previous donation, makes up the largest by a single country to Liberia to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is in addition to a total of 192,000 doses of AstraZeneca virus brought in the country.
The new batch of J&J vaccines comes at a time when Liberians in the leeward counties continue to complain of a lack of adequate COVID-19 vaccines in their area.