Guinean President Alpha Conde is one of Africa’s first leaders to receive the coronavirus vaccine, the 82-year-old was injected with a dose of the Russian sputnik jab on Friday, 15 January.
Conde said he took the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to ensuring that Guineans receive broad vaccination coverage in order to curb the spread of the virus.
The Russian vaccination campaign was launched 30 December last year on an experimental basis.
Guinea has so far received 60 doses of Sputnik V and authorities intend to inoculate a small number of elderly volunteers first before deciding whether to extend the programme.
Guinea defence minister Mohamed Diané, a scientist by training, was the first to receive the vaccine.
Several other government members who have not so far contracted the virus have also been inoculated over the past two weeks, a spokesman for the national health security agency told AFP.
“More than 2.5 million vaccine doses are expected before the end of the first quarter, which would enable us to inoculate a good number of people, certainly those who want it, said a health agency spokesman, Sory Keira, without specifying whether the doses consisted solely of the Russian-developed jab.
The African country has so far registered more than 14,000 infections and 81 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus, including a number of politicians.
The outbreak coincided with months of political crisis caused by Conde’s decision to run for his third consecutive term as president.