The joint effort against the COVID-19 pandemic in Mali has received another boost! On the occasion of her visit to Mali from March 16-18, 2022, Ambassador Michele J. Sison, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, joined Ambassador Hankins to welcome a shipment of Pfizer vaccine to Mali’s Ministry of Health and Social Development on Friday, March 18, 2022. Health Minister Diéminatou Sangaré led the official delegation to the reception at Bamako International Airport.
The third in a series of U.S. donations of COVID-19 vaccines to Mali, “Today’s delivery of 100,620 Pfizer doses is the first shipment of one million Pfizer doses that the U.S. Government is giving to Mali to protect its citizens – especially the most vulnerable – against COVID-19,” Sison said in an interview after the vaccines were unloaded from the airplane. This is in addition to two other deliveries, including 168,000 and 151,200 doses of Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, as part of the U.S. government’s global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Sison reiterated President Biden’s commitment to U.S. leadership in the response to the pandemic, noting the strong actions of his administration since taking office, including reintegration into the World Health Organization (WHO).
Ambassador Dennis Hankins emphasized that as in the past, international cooperation through the COVAX mechanism has been essential to this effort. He noted that in addition to UNICEF and WHO, the Government of Japan has provided critical support for the establishment of the Ultra Cold Chain, which is necessary for storage of the Pfizer vaccine. “This is an excellent example of international cooperation to strengthen the capacity of the Malian health system to handle COVID-19 vaccines, as well as other vaccines that may require similar storage in the future,” said Hankins.
On March 17, the day before the arrival of the Pfizer vaccines to Mali, the United States reached the critical milestone of donating 500 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to nations around the world. This is the largest number of vaccines donated by any country and an important step toward President Biden’s goal of donating more than 1.2 billion vaccines worldwide. The United States has also invested in and supported the expansion of vaccine manufacturing in Africa.
The U.S. Embassy encourages all eligible Malians who have not yet received a vaccine to make plans to do get vaccinated soon!