Maseru – Prime Minister, Dr. Moeketsi Majoro on Saturday received the highly anticipated delivery of 108 000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines contributed by Vodacom.
The vaccines, which came from the African Union African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), are the first batch of about 1.3 million vaccines to be delivered.
This consignment is the culmination of a March 29 pledge of US$1 million (about M14 million) by Vodacom Group Chief Executive Officer, Shameel Joosub, to the Government of Lesotho. The donation formed part of Lesotho’s US$10 million order made through the AVAT process and from contributions by private sector organisations, development partners and the government.
On its own, Vodacom has purchased approximately 133 000 doses.
Speaking at the brief reception, Mohale Ralebitso, Vodacom Lesotho’s Managing Director said: “As Vodacom Lesotho, we are delighted to be part of this important gesture to strengthen the health resilience and protection against the Covid-19 pandemic for the people of Lesotho.
“We are conscious of the critical interventions that the private sector can make to the health condition of the Basotho. We wish to continue making our humble presence felt in the health and other sectors through our Vodacom Lesotho Foundation to ensure that we make a difference in the lives of the communities within which we operate.”
The vaccines are expected to accelerate the mountain kingdom’s roll out of its vaccination plan, which has so far benefitted from two 36 000 consignments of the AU-backed AstraZeneca vaccines and the generous assistance by the American people.
It is expected that Lesotho will vaccinate its total eligible population of 1.4 according to its 3-phase vaccination plan.
The latest vaccines should take the country to higher phases in vaccination and benefit population categories such as teachers, border personnel, armed forces, factory workers, and the general public.