The United States Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy has heaped praises on the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and the Ministry of Health for the robust response the two entities have been applying since the second wave of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Speaking when the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia donated on behalf of the United States Government a quantity of 302,400 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as part of the administration’s global efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador McCarthy said the decision to send this shipment to Liberia now is expressly due to the impressive structure implemented by the Ministry of Health and NPHIL to distribute the first tranche of vaccines, and the effective campaign they have in place to distribute any new vaccines.
“I can think of no more appropriate way to spend Liberian Independence Day weekend than standing here this evening next to my sister, Minister Wilhelmina Jallah, and this large pallet of COVID-19 vaccines,” he stated.
“The past two years have brought historic challenges, and we have worked shoulder to shoulder through the pandemic to share information and fight the virus. As demonstrated recently here in Liberia, we have seen stark reminders that the pandemic is unfortunately not over yet. But these vaccines are a pathway to ending it,” the U.S. envoy noted.
Ambassador McCarthy mentioned that the U.S. had pledged to initially donate 80 million vaccines globally, with 25 million designated for Africa. Thus, he said the successful arrival of these 302,400 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was the result of a worldwide group effort.
He lauded the COVAX, GAVI, and UNICEF teams for the immense help with arranging the logistics of getting the vaccines to Liberia. He also lauded the African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, for their ongoing coordination of the many U.S.-donated vaccines that are being shared across Africa.
“But coming back home, I must tell you something. The third wave has hit across the continent, ravaging many countries that, like Liberia, had run out of vaccines.
“Looking at the record, decision-makers knew that these vaccines would get to the public in Liberia quickly and efficiently.
“I want to recognize the immense contributions of our fellow diplomatic missions here in Liberia. COVID-19 does not stop at any border. To end this pandemic, we must all work together and do our part,” pointed out Ambassador McCarthy.
According to him, the donation equips Liberians to help Liberians and will help protect the country from the COVID-19 virus so all can build back the Liberian economy.
“We mourn with those who lost loved ones, friends, and colleagues. We are proud to continue working together with the Liberian Government, the private sector, and civil society to do everything we can to mitigate the pandemic’s high toll on life and livelihoods, and its social impacts.
“To all those who wanted to get vaccinated but couldn’t find one, here’s your chance. To everyone else who has not been vaccinated, I strongly encourage you to do so—as I did—as soon as you have the opportunity,” Ambassador McCarthy cautioned.