Ethiopia resumes COVID-19 vaccinations in embattled Tigray region: Report

Ethiopia has resumed COVID-19 vaccinations after an almost two year hiatus, an Ethiopia Ministry of Health (MoH) official said on Wednesday.

Melkamu Ayalew, Mothers and Children Vaccination Desk at the Ethiopia Ministry of Health (MoH), said the ministry is giving COVID-19 vaccination and other types of vaccinations in the embattled northernmost Ethiopia region, reported state media outlet Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).

Melkamu said following recent peace agreement many activities are underway to restart health institutions that have sustained damages due to conflict as well as supply of various vaccines to the Tigray region.

The Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which control parts of the Tigray region signed two main peace deals in November 2022. The peace deals include among other things restoration of law and order, withdrawal of foreign and non-Ethiopian army forces, disarmament of Tigrayan combatants, restoration of basic services and unhindered access to humanitarian supplies.

Melkamu also said MoH has deployed health professionals to Tigray and is collaborating with the likes of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to speed up the vaccination process in the region.

The Ethiopia Ministry of Health is also preparing to resume measles vaccination in the northern region.

MoH has so far recorded 499,200 COVID-19 cases and 7,572 COVID-19 deaths across Ethiopia. This is likely an understatement as conflict and climate change in various parts of Ethiopia has displaced millions of people, who have little to no access to basic health services.

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