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Burundi Finally Offers Vaccination Against Coronavirus

It was one of the last countries in the world not to be administering the jabs. The injections are being given on a voluntary basis and take-up in the main city, Bujumbura, was relatively low, locals told the BBC Great Lakes service. So far there has been no attempt by the government to urge people to come forward. It is not yet clear if the population – which usually complies with government announcements – will turn up en masse without a publicity drive. Last week, Burundi received 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. When receiving them, Health Minister Thaddée Ndikumana said that health workers and the elderly would be given priority. World Health Organization director Tedros Ghebreyesus said last week that Burundi, Eritrea, and North Korea were the only countries that had not started Covid vaccinations. In March, Burundi’s health minister said that the country “preferred to wait” before using “experimental” vaccines. WHO figures show that some 19,550 cases have been confirmed in the East African nation with 14 deaths, although some Burundians are skeptical of the numbers.