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Madagascar ramps up COVID inoculations to suppress second wave

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RIJASOLO/AFP or licensors

Madagascar

Madagascar has started vaccinating its population against COVID-19.

The first phase of the campaign is focusing on frontline staff such as healthcare employees, security forces and social workers.

It also includes people in vulnerable groups and those over the age of 80.

"The goal we are targeting is about 70 people per centre because there are 10 vaccination centres, so we think one vaccination centre will reach 70 people per day," said Dr Lantonirina Randrianary, the head of vaccination centers in the capital Antananarivo.

Madagascar received a shipment of 250,000 vaccine doses from COVAX last week, the first to arrive in the country.

Doctors, nurses and nuns queued up Friday to receive their jabs at the Hjra Ampefiloha hospital, the largest healthcare facility in Antananarivo.

Madagascar, a large island nation off southeastern Africa, is currently fighting a second wave of the virus that's threatening to overwhelm its health system.

The country has had a total of just under 40,000 coronavirus cases, with 748 deaths, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

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