Cameroon has set a goal to vaccinate 20 percent of its over 25 million population with a COVID-19 vaccine as the country is struggling with a new surge of infections, Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie said Wednesday.

The Central African nation will have 1,752,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine via COVAX, and has ordered 4,000,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Manaouda told a press conference Wednesday night in the capital Yaounde.

“Some of the vaccines will arrive this month and others will follow. Vaccination is now a cornerstone of our strategy to curb the spread of the pandemic,” he added.

Cameroon launched its COVID-19 immunization campaign on Monday after receiving a batch of Sinopharm vaccines donated by the Chinese government. It was the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines that Cameroon has received since the pandemic hit the country in March last year, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

The country has prioritized frontline health workers and essential personnel in the first round of its vaccination. Later on, the immunization campaign will target the elderly as well as those who have existing chronic illnesses, and the general public will then follow.

Cameroon had planned to introduce the AstraZeneca vaccines before the government suspended the plan in March due to safety concerns.

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