Rwanda says it has commenced COVID-19 vaccinations with limited supplies of vaccines acquired through unnamed international partners, Reuters has reported.
The Rwandan government said the vaccination programme has started with frontline healthcare workers.
The central African country has been battling a surge in infections of COVID-19 which forced the government to re-impose a lockdown last month in the capital Kigali.
Authorities banned movement in and out of the city, except for essential services and for tourists.
In a tweet, Rwanda’s ministry of health said the country’s National Vaccination Program had begun “vaccinating high-risk groups, notably frontline healthcare staff, with WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines acquired through international partnerships in limited quantities”.
The initial vaccination phase, the ministry said, will be followed by a wider roll out with supplies secured via the World Health Organization’s COVAX scheme to facilitate vaccine access by poor and middle-income countries.
Additional supplies would also be secured via the African Union (AU) window. The AU has secured more than 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for its member states.
So far Rwanda has recorded about 17,000 cases of COVID-19 and 236 deaths.