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Botswana to resume second phase of COVID-19 vaccination campaign

(The Southern African Times) – The resumption of the second phase of Botswana’s COVID-19 vaccination roll out program has been strengthened following the receipt of 404,494 doses of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine doses, which were received on Sunday, were purchased from the Sinovac Biotech Company in China through a bilateral arrangement, according to a statement by the Botswana government.

“Communication on the roll out of this consignment will be made next week as ministry will be resuming its vaccination roll out program which is currently at Phase two level of the National Vaccine Deployment Plan,” the statement added.

This second phase of the vaccination plan targets individuals aged between 30 and 54 years but began with persons aged between 45 and 54 years due to a limited supply of vaccines.

Botswana hopes to have vaccinated 64 percent of its target population by the end of October. At least 21.6 percent of the eligible population has so far been vaccinated, according to government data.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi recently announced that there had been a gradual decrease in new infections and deaths as well as a significant decrease in hospital admissions since the government introduced a 21-day period of stricter measures to combat a Delta COVID-19 variant-driven surge.

Masisi also announced changes in certain restrictions which are set to come into effect from Monday midnight.

Some of them include a nighttime curfew from 10pm to 4am (local time) and a lifting of a ban on the sale of alcohol, allowing such purchases on a take away basis. All public gatherings will be re-instated while following COVID-19 health protocols.

Inter-zonal movement, however, remains restricted to essential travel while schools will reopen as planned.

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