Niger Republic has commenced its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 with China’s Sinopharm vaccine.
Health workers, vulnerable people over 60, members of the defence and security forces, refugees and migrants, are among groups being prioritised.
Upon receiving his first dose of vaccine, Prime Minister Brigi Rafini called on all citizens to be vaccinated “for the sake of all the population”.
Health Minister Ahmed Boto said a second dose would be necessary “four weeks later” and assured that the side effects of the vaccine are largely minor.
Last year the authorities imposed curfews, closed places of worship and schools, and isolated the capital, Niamey, from the rest of the country to curb the spread of the virus.
Some of the measures have been progressively lifted but land borders remain closed.
Niger has reported just under 5,000 cases of Covid-19 and 185 deaths.