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Over 7,400 refugees receive COVID-19 jabs in Ethiopia: UNHCR

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-11-18 06:18
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A Somali child refugee receives a vaccine for measles at the United Nations transit centre in Dolo Ado near the Ethiopia-Somalia border August 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

ADDIS ABABA - Some 7,425 refugees presently residing in Ethiopia have received COVID-19 jabs, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said.

The UN refugee agency said in its latest situation update issued on Wednesday that some 4,481 of the refugees were fully vaccinated, who meet the government's prioritization criteria.

According to the latest figures from UNHCR, Ethiopia is the third-largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, sheltering 806,374 registered refugees and asylum-seekers as of the end of October 2021. The overwhelming majority originate from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan.

Ethiopia's national Agency for Refugees and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) had in April this year disclosed the commencement of giving COVID-19 jabs to refugees residing across camps in the East African country.

The COVID-19 vaccine jabs rollout to refugees is being done in collaboration with various stakeholders including the UNHCR, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI).

UNHCR, the Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) and partners, continue to reinforce prevention measures in the refugee camps and sites hosting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Amid a national push for vaccination, Ethiopia has so far administered 5,084,917 COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to the figures from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.

Ethiopia received the first batch of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government in March.

On Oct. 24, Ethiopia received the latest batch of Chinese-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines, totaling 800,000 doses, giving a boost to the East African nation's vaccination efforts.

China has so far donated in excess of 1.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Ethiopia, which the Ethiopian government said has played an important role in combating the virus.

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