As many countries in the world report an upsurge in Covid-19 infections as the ‘autumn wave’ approaches, a consignment of more than a million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has arrived in Sudan, donated by the USA as part of the COVAX Platform* that aims for equitable distribution of vaccines to countries regardless of their income.
In a statement yesterday, the US Embassy in Khartoum announced the arrival of 1,000,350 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which brings the total number of vaccines provided to the people of Sudan via COVAX to 4,685,480, and said that the donation “is part of our commitment in leading the global response to end the pandemic and with the singular objective of saving lives”.
The US Embassy points out that “the cumulative US donation of vaccines is the largest by a single country to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in Sudan”.
‘While we may be tired of Covid-19, the virus has unfortunately not tired of us…’ – US Ambassador John Godfrey
Yesterday’s statement by the embassy says that the USA has committed to purchasing and donating over 1.2 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses worldwide:
At a press conference on Monday, the US Ambassador to Khartoum, John Godfrey, told reporters: “the United States remains committed to protecting the lives of the Sudanese people against the threat of Covid-19.
“To date, the United States has delivered vaccines to more than 115 countries. Across sub-Saharan Africa, the US government has committed over $2.1 billion to 48 countries to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and has donated over 181 million vaccine doses to countries in the region,” Ambassador Godfrey said.
US Ambassador John Godfrey speaks to reporters on Monday (Video: US Embassy Khartoum)
He highlighted that the development of effective vaccines has given us tools to integrate routine Covid-19 care into existing primary healthcare platforms and immunisation programmes, and while we may be tired of Covid-19, the virus has unfortunately not tired of us.”
According to official Ministry of Health figures released in June, so far 38,824 Covid-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic reached the country in March 2020. Of the reported cases, 32,395 recovered, while 2,967 died.
Last week, US Ambassador to Sudan, John Godfrey, denied that junta leader Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan’s participation in the 77th session of United Nations General Assembly signifies a new page in relations with the West and the USA, as Lt Gen El Taher Abu Haja, Media advisor to El Burhan and the Sudan Armed Forces, claimed during El Burhan’s visit to New York last weekend. In an interview with the Sudanese El Tayyar newspaper, Godfrey renewed his call to the military government in Sudan to restore a civilian-led government and to put Sudan back on its transitional path, stressing a strong push to achieve this matter.
* The COVAX Platform is a coalition co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), GAVI organisation, the Global Vaccines Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), that ensures equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to countries regardless of their income.
Sudan was the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to receive vaccines via the COVAX Platform when the first batch of 828,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived at Khartoum airport on March 3 2021.
** The US Senate confirmed John Godfrey as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USA to Sudan in June. Sudan has been served by a deputy ambassador, making Godfrey the first fully ranked US ambassador to Sudan in 25 years.
The confirmation of Godfrey’s appointment coincided with a vote by the US Congress to overwhelmingly approve a draft resolution, condemning the October 25 military coup, and voicing support for the people of Sudan.