Ambassador Michael McCarthy and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Jim Wright joined Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah, Education Minister Ansu Sonii, and other Government of Liberia officials to launch the school-based Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the William V.S. Tubman High School in Sinkor, Monrovia on Tuesday, February 8.
The school-based vaccination campaign aims to get the 320,580 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine recently donated to Liberia into the arms of Liberians. “Our assistance to Liberia goes beyond donating vaccines. We have trained more than 3,000 health workers in 365 primary health care facilities to give vaccines to Liberians. And we have worked with our Liberian partners to train more than 200 community health assistants and volunteers to educate the Liberian public about COVID-19 and how it can be prevented,” Ambassador McCarthy said at the launch.
To date, more than 1,000,000 Liberians have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the rest of Liberia’s eligible population still have not been vaccinated.
Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah said the school-based campaign was an important boost for COVID-19 vaccination in Liberia. She encouraged students at William V.S. Tubman High School, the first batch of students to receive the jab, to serve as vaccine ambassadors and encourage others to get vaccinated. Teachers and staff at Tubman High joined the students in taking the vaccine, with Principal Tamba Reeves leading the way and being the first to get the jab.
Education Minister Sonii and USAID Mission Director Jim Wright re-emphasized that the vaccines were safe and an effective way of helping to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Health officials say the school-based vaccine outreach services, which target students 12 years and above, will also benefit children who are not in school now but fall within that age category.
As of December 30, 2021, the United States has donated 954,180 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Liberia. This includes 633,600 doses of the J&J vaccine plus 320,580 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Through USAID, the U.S. Government has provided more than $25 million in direct COVID-19 relief to Liberia. This includes $2.5 million recently announced to help vaccinate the people of Liberia quickly and safely.