Rwanda: Covid-19 Second-Stage Vaccination Kicks-Off – 5 Things You Should Know

The Government will, on Friday, April 2 start administering the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people who received the first one.

Rwanda’s nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign that kicked off in early March has been employing Pfizer and AstraZeneca, two of the vaccines that require the recipients to get two doses to increase the protection for their bodies against the virus.

Here are five things that you may need to know about the exercise of administering the second dose:

1. The exercise starts with those who received the Pfizer vaccine

After being vaccinated for the first time, recipients of the Pfizer vaccine have to take between 21 to 28 days to get the second shot, as opposed to their counterparts who received AstraZeneca and need to take between 8 to 12 weeks before they can get the second dose.

This means that the time for receiving the second has arrived for Pfizer recipients, while those who received AstraZeneca will have to wait for a few more days.

According to Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the Minister of Health, over 290,000 citizens of those who got the first dose were vaccinated with AstraZeneca while 51,000 others received Pfizer.

2. No need to go to the place from which you got the first dose, for the second one

Speaking to this newspaper, Julien Niyingabira, the Head of Rwanda Health Communication Centre, said the details of those who were inoculated during the first round were stored digitally and are available to medics at various stations where the vaccination exercises will be taking place.

Due to this, there is no need for a person to go back to the same place where they were vaccinated or meet with the exact people who vaccinated them.

3. SMS notifications

Text messages will be sent to people reminding them to go for the second shot, and where they can go to get it. The Ministry of Health Officials collected important contact information during the first round of vaccination, for example, phone numbers which aid their efforts in following up on the people in order to give them the second dose of the vaccine.

4. It’s highly advisable not to miss the second dose

The second dose increases protection against the virus, and according to medics, it is important not to miss it. If a person completely misses it, this may mean that he or she will have to repeat it all over again.

5. Dates for administering the second dose of AstraZeneca is yet to be communicated

According to the Ministry of Health, the dates for administering the second shot for AstraZeneca recipients will be communicated in the coming days. However, it is expected to be soon since the 8 to 12 weeks required in-between the two shots are drawing close to completion.

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