Seychelles President hopes to vaccinate 70% of nation's population by mid-March
Seychelles became the first African country to administer the Covid-19 vaccine over a week ago after it received 50,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm jab, donated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Now in the second week of its vaccination programme, the country is aiming to become the first in the world to vaccinate 70% of its adult population in order to achieve herd immunity.
President Wavel Ramkalawa says the target is to vaccinate 60,000 people by mid-March for the nation to reach herd immunity levels.
Once this is achieved, Ramkalawa says Seychelles can open up to the world in order to resuscitate its battered economy.
No quarantine needed with vaccine certificates
Seychelles is welcoming tourists from anywhere in the world as long as they have taken both shots of the Covid-19 vaccination, in addition to producing a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel.
Travellers will need to provide an official vaccine certificate indicating that the final dose of the vaccine was taken at least two weeks before travel.
Visitors to the 115-island Indian Ocean archipelago will not need to go into quarantine upon arrival if they present a valid vaccination certificate and PCR test..
But once 70% of the population is vaccinated by mid-March, Ramkalawa says a Covid-19 vaccine certificate will not be a requirement for entry. However, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel will still be required.
Seychelles, with a population of just over 98,000 people, relies heavily on its tourism industry. Ramkalawan says there is already a "buzz" around reopening the country to tourists and reviving their currency.
Anybody who has received the two vaccine doses can, after two weeks, enter the country but they also have to present a 72-hour PCR negative test result.Wavel Ramkalawan, President of The Republic of the Seychelles
We hope that by mid-March we should have vaccinated around 60,000 people - this should be good enough for us to open the country for any visitor with a 72-hour PCR negative test result.Wavel Ramkalawan, President of The Republic of the Seychelles
We've already covered over 10% of our population... The doubts are being erased and people are saying, 'Yes, give us our vaccine!'Wavel Ramkalawan, President of The Republic of the Seychelles
Ramkalawa was the first to receive the jab along with members of his Cabinet earlier this month.
He says he's leading by example and encouraging all the people of the island nation to get the injection.
There are many people who are speculating about the vaccine, but as somebody who believes that the vaccine is the way forward, I felt that it was important for me to lead by example.Wavel Ramkalawan, President of The Republic of the Seychelles
Having received the vaccine as a gift from His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of the UAE, I felt that it was only right that I should go first together with the Cabinet to show the people that we are serious and they too should follow suit, and it is working.Wavel Ramkalawan, President of The Republic of the Seychelles
Listen to President Wavel Ramkalawan on CapeTalk:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Seychelles President hopes to vaccinate 70% of nation's population by mid-March
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