People visit an expo in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda, Dec. 14, 2020. Rwandan Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije on Sunday warned the COVID-19 pandemic has reached a
People visit an expo in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda, Dec. 14, 2020. Rwandan Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije on Sunday warned the COVID-19 pandemic has reached a "critical stage" in the country, with an ongoing spike in new cases and increase in deaths. (Photo by Cyril Ndegeya/Xinhua)

Rwanda has budgeted 50 billion Rwandan francs (about 51.2 million U.S. dollars) to buy COVID-19 vaccines for over 7.8 million people by 2022, Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said Wednesday.

The government will spend at least two-thirds of the total budget, as some vaccines are expected to come in as donations or via COVAX, a mechanism led by the United Nations which aims to provide equitable access to COVID-19 jabs for poorer countries, Ngamije told national broadcaster Rwanda Television during a news program.

Rwanda on Wednesday received 240,000 doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, the country’s first batch acquired through COVAX. Over 102,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine were scheduled to arrive on Wednesday evening.

According to the government, Rwanda is talking with multiple partners including international organizations and other governments to acquire additional vaccines.

“We are aiming at buying affordable but effective vaccines that are at least 80 percent effective,” said Ngamije.

As of Wednesday, Rwanda has recorded a total of 19,198 COVID-19 cases, with 17,569 recoveries and 265 deaths. Enditem

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