Business & Finance
Dominican Republic commences COVID-19 vaccination campaign with AstraZeneca vaccine
17 February 2021 -

Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday that the Dominican Republic started vaccinating medical staff against COVID-19 on 16 February 2021, as the country launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

This follows the arrival of the first 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/ Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, said his government had acquired 110,000 doses of the vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) due to delays by other vaccine makers.

SII, reportedly the world's biggest vaccine maker, has licensed the vaccine from AstraZeneca and Oxford University and markets it as COVISHIELD for low-and middle-income countries.

Reportedly, the Dominican Republic government plans to vaccinate the country's 7.8 million adults in three phases by the end of the year. By the end of July 2021 it hopes to have vaccinated the 2.7 million people who are over 50 years old, as well as all healthcare staff, teachers and the military.

According to Reuters, in addition to the 110,000 doses from the SII, the country has also signed up for 10 million shots directly from AstraZeneca, eight million from Pfizer, 768,000 from Sinopharm and 542,000 from the global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX.

The Dominican Republic, which is the Caribbean country worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, has recorded 2,975 COVID-19 deaths and about 231,950 infections to date.