Elderly targeted in another round of vaccination drive

Friday August 26 2022
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A woman receives Covid-19 jab in Kigali. The government has stepped up campaigns to increase uptake of vaccine across the country. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA


The government is not taking chances even as the country reaches low Covid-19 incidence category, with health authorities now working around the clock to vaccinate people of 60 years and above and those with chronic illnesses with the second booster jab.

The Ministry of Health is also moving ahead with plans to vaccinate children between five and 11 as the country to protect population against the virus.

The Minister of State in the Ministry of Health in charge of primary healthcare, Tharcisse Mpunga told Rwanda Today that the turn up for the senior citizens targeted for the second booster jab has so far been low, but authorities are doubling their efforts to boost them.

“After four to six months the vaccine gets weaker against the Omicron variant, and older people are more vulnerable. That is why we decided to apply the second booster on this category,”

“Many have already gone past four or six months since the last booster while others are nearing, that’s why we move fast with the second booster,” He added.

Although they are referring to it as the second booster, it is actually the fourth coronavirus jab. The news of this fourth jab caused agitation throughout the population, with many thinking its meant for the entire population, while others questioned its rationale since there was no announcement of a new variant or a major resurgence.


“There is no major coronavirus resurgence as feared, the second booster is to enhance protection for older people, the young people are more resilient so they won't be jabbed, the country is in a low incidence category” The Minister said.

Life has generally gone back to normal, all restrictions have been lifted, health and recreational centers like gyms, saunas as well as weddings venues are working at full capacity.

The minister said cases only spiked a bit right after wearing masks was lifted and during Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in June, but even shortly after that cases declined.

In the past seven days, the country registered only 32 covid19 positive cases and no severe and deaths have been recorded in a very long time.

“The priority now is continuing with testing, sequencing, monitoring and booster administration, the older people are not coming in big numbers as expected, many are in villages but some have not yet made it four months since the last jab,” he noted.

He said they will continue to do monitoring of the situation at border crossings as well as protecting people from severe symptoms through jabs.

The government received the first batch of vaccines for children between five and 11 and is set for vaccination.