Burundi vaccinations finally kick off, leaving only two countries left to vaccinate

China donates 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Burundi, initiating their vaccine rollout.

Monday, the 18th of October marked a momentous day for Burundi. On the day, the East African country began its COVID-19 vaccinations. Though the country of 11.5 million has reported 14 deaths and 19,300 confirmed positive cases, and is the third last country to administer the vaccinations. The vaccinations commenced in the city of Bujumbura with about a dozen people receiving the vaccine by midday. Half a million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine were donated by China. The country’s vaccination strategy is to focus on health workers, people with untreatable diseases and the elderly. There has been some scepticism among the Burundians about the vaccines as Alain Bunoni, Burundi Prime Minister said, “the vaccine has a lot of consequences not even known by the specialists who created the vaccine.”

North Korea and Eritrea are now the only countries in the world that are yet to vaccinate their citizens. Eritrea has no plans yet to vaccinate its residents, yet the country has had 6,778 confirmed cases and 45 reported deaths. North Korea has claimed there have been no COVID-19 cases in the nation and practice isolation from the rest of the world in efforts to avoid infections. It rejected almost two million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and nearly three million doses of the Sinovac vaccine. In August 2021, the World Health Organization tested 37,000 North Koreans with not one person testing positive. For the world to reach herd immunity, 70% of its 7.9 billion population would need to be vaccinated and this would require all countries to prioritize vaccinations.