Seychelles gets first consignment of Sputnik vaccines |06 April 2021
The long-awaited return of Russian airline Aeroflot to Seychelles (see lead story) did not only bring new tourists to our islands but also the first consignment of the Russian Sputnik Covid-19 vaccines.
Speaking to the press at the airport soon after the arrival of the aircraft, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde, who was a key negotiator in getting the vaccine, noted that discussions started when he took office.
“There is a huge demand for vaccines as every country is queueing up to receive their consignment. We were also in the queue and each time I got a chance I reminded the Russian ambassador of the urgency for us to get the vaccines,” Minister Radegonde pointed out.
The first batch of vaccines contains 1000 doses with more expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
The minister further noted that in January when the government decided to start the vaccination campaign it knocked on many doors.
“It’s not easy acquiring the vaccines as it is in huge demand, we had to go into serious negotiations, often getting on our hands and knees,” he noted.
He added that we will be receiving more vaccines in the coming weeks. And as we will have more vaccines than we need, the government will now look at vaccinating foreign mariners who are fishing in our waters.
The Minister for Transport Antony Derjacques, who was also present to welcome the Aeroflot flight, added that these vaccines were manufactured less than a year ago and there are many reports that show that some vaccines are more effective than others so it is important that the government has a stock of vaccines.
“We have also seen countries that have been successful in vaccinating people under 18 years old so when international organisations give the go ahead, we can also start the vaccination campaign for that age group, so it is very important that we have a good stock,” said Minister Derjacques.