All along, while monitoring the production of vaccines against Covid-19 of many different countries, I have advised the Minister of Health and the Minister of Economy and Finance to prepare a budget for the purchase of this vaccine for a free-of-charge vaccination for our people as a first step.
Presently, some countries are producing and launching the use, while releasing the vaccines on sale to other countries. This evening, I instructed the Minister of Health to discuss with development partners, especially the World Health Organization (WHO), to determine from which country we should buy the vaccines.
I also advised the Minister of Economy and Finance to prepare a budget for the purchase of one million doses in the first phase to be given to those who work in high-risk areas and those with high risk. For one million doses, we can vaccinate 500,000 people (because one person needs two vaccinations), while we have a population of 16 million, young and old, and among them some 10 million people needed to be vaccinated.
In a situation that our country is short of funds to buy more, I have advised the two ministers to discuss with both bilateral and multilateral development partners to seek additional assistance to help our people.
We hope that our development partners will help our people or at least sell us (the vaccines) at a reasonably low price. I also advised the Minister of Economy and Finance to prepare a budget for the purchase of two to three million doses for the next phase./.