Rwanda vaccinates refugees and asylum-seekers against COVID-19

Integrity :: Equity

Rwanda vaccinates refugees and asylum-seekers against COVID-19
12 Mar 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the lives and rights of refugees, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the Rwandan government’s vaccination this week of 416 refugees – one of the first countries in Africa to do so.

Nearly one year since the country’s first registered COVID-19 case and as part of Rwanda’s national vaccination drive, the Rwandan Ministry of Health inoculated 224 refugees residing in the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) centre in Gashora and 192 refugees in six refugee settlements working on the front lines of the pandemic as community health workers and cleaners or security guards at health clinics in the refugee settlements.

Some 230,000 people in Rwanda have been vaccinated against COVID-19, one week after a countrywide campaign began.

“We commend Rwanda’s inclusion of refugees in its response to the pandemic,” said Clementine Nkweta-Salami, UNHCR’s Regional Bureau Director Bureau for the East, Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes. “We appeal to all countries to include refugees in their vaccination programs on par with nationals to ensure that everyone is safe.”…