Cameroon will soon receive doses of the vaccine developed by American laboratory Pfizer and the German biotech BioNTech. "We are expecting the Pfizer vaccine in one or two weeks," announced the Minister of Public Health (Minsanté) Manaouda Malachie during a press briefing on Tuesday, November 9 in Yaoundé, as a prelude to the state personnel vaccination campaign that has begun today Wednesday. The official provided no detail on the number of expected doses nor the acquisition mechanism.
The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is the first to have been validated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and one of the most used in the world. Although it is presented as "safe and effective", it cannot be administered to certain people because of "contraindications". According to the WHO, these include immunocompromised people, those with severe allergic reactions to one of its components, or children under 16.
A very low-temperature cold chain (between -60° and -90°C) is required to store the vaccine. This is why an "ultra-cold chain" is being installed for its conservation, according to the Minsanté.
"Our country currently has enough doses of AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Sinopharm vaccines for government employees and pensioners. (...) These vaccines are well preserved at the recommended temperature till they are administered thanks to a continuous and quality cold chain," he said.
Last February, Cameroon received 842 cold chain equipment to increase immunization coverage through improved availability of quality vaccines in the country.