A total of 1,590, 000 million doses of the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine, (BCG) are currently en route to health facilities in the 10 regions of Cameroon, after a one-month stock-out, public health officials have said.
The vaccines which were delivered to Public Health authorities on April 22, come after a shortage in health facilities since mid March.
According to Dr. Njoh Andreas, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Enlarged Program on Immunization, the scarcity of the vaccines is caused by a delay in supply, coupled with the fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We experienced a stock-out in a few regions partly due to the delay in the reception of the vaccines which were requested. This delay is equally partially linked to the burden of COVID-19 which has affected several parts of the world, and interfering with production of basic life commodities including vaccines,” Dr Njoh said.
The BCG vaccines are already available in a few regions, but far off regions will receive their consignment by the end of this week.
According to Public Health authorities, distribution is based on the needs of the respective regions and their districts.
Distribution to Regions
Centre Region #80,000
Adamawa Region, #30,000
East Region , #25,000
Far North Region, #111000
Littoral Region , #62,000
North Region , #70,000
North West Region , #31,000
West Region , #50460
South Region , #15,000
South West Region, #29,000
What is the BCG?
The BCG is an important childhood vaccine that is given to new borns in Cameroon at birth, to build their immunity and protect them against tuberculosis. The vaccine is also recommended to persons under the age of 35 who are at risk of contracting tuberculosis (TB).
The BCG vaccine is prepared from a weakened live bovin tuberculosis virus, and provides about 80% immunity to children for up to 15 years.
When the vaccines arrive in the regions, newborns will once again be administered the vaccines, while babies and other persons who missed their vaccine due to the stock-out can catch up.
Kathy Neba Sina