Seychelles began administering Covid-19 vaccines on Sunday, 10 January 2021. The republic’s president, H E Wavel Ramkalawan, took the very first dose (pictured above) – making him the first Head of State in Africa to do so.

He was joined by roughly a hundred leaders, health workers and media personalities, who showed their support of the campaign by also receiving their first shot of the vaccine. Since Monday, 11 January, health care workers and other front-line groups – including tourism industry operators – have been receiving the vaccine.

Tourism to the Seychelles is a critical component of the island nation’s economy. As a result, the speedy roll out of its national Covid-19 Immunization Campaign has been a top priority, with the aim to be the first country in the world to vaccinate 70% of its adult population (18 years and up) and achieve herd immunity.

“The world has not come to a standstill and there are people who are still keen to travel. We need to quickly rebuild our industry for our economic prosperity depends on it.”

“The Covid-19 immunization campaign is an important milestone for the restart of our tourism industry as the country balances its efforts to maintain its tourism activities and protect its population from further spread of the virus. The world has not come to a standstill and there are people who are still keen to travel. We need to quickly rebuild our industry for our economic prosperity depends on it,” said Mr Sylvestre Radegonde, Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism.

He added that, despite the immunity that the new vaccines offer, the tourism industry and its partners will need to continue practicing the necessary health and safety protocols to ensure the health and safety of both citizens and visitors to the country.

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The country is currently administering the SinoPharm Covid-19 vaccine, produced by Sinopharm, a Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company. 50 000 doses of the vaccine were donated to the nation by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Another batch will be arriving soon.

Additionally, the Indian Government has offered the nation 100 000 doses of the Oxford/Astra-Zeneca vaccine, which is scheduled to arrive in the country at the end of the month.

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Photo credit: Seychelles State House