"The first shipment of Sanofi Pasteur's coronavirus vaccine arrived in Nsimalen today. This is a test phase." This is the message that is being extensively shared on social media since Tuesday, June 30. This message sparked users’ outrage since some of them suspect authorities want to secretly test this vaccine on Cameroonians. But here's the thing: this information is not accurate.
A vaccine shipment did arrive in Cameroon on June 28, but it is destined for the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), contrary to what the message claims. The information was revealed by the Minister of Public Health (Minsanté), Manaouda Malachie.
"The Ministry of Health, through the Central Technical Group of the Expanded Programme on Immunization, received a shipment of vaccines for routine immunization at Nsimalen International Airport on Sunday, June 28, 2020. These include tuberculosis vaccines (BCG), injectable polio vaccine (IPV), and yellow fever vaccine (YFV)," the EPI confirmed in an information note we received today.
The objective of the EPI is to ensure that every child receives protection against at least 12 vaccine-preventable diseases targeted by the program. There is currently no vaccine against the coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 300 vaccines are currently being tested, including three that are about to enter the final phase of human trials. None of them has yet received marketing authorization.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem