The Congolese head of state criticised the AstraZeneca vaccine during his communication this weekend. In his press conferences on Saturday and Sunday, Felix Tshisekedi did not beat about the bush to highlight the uncertainties surrounding the British vaccine.
The communication of the Congolese head of state on the third wave of the Coronavirus has reinforced the doubt on the current vaccination campaign in the DRC. « You know that the AstraZeneca vaccine has caused problems, and continues to cause problems. Both the side effects, but also the confidence of the population, » said Félix Tshesekedi at a press conference in Kinshasa on 12 June.
These words reinforce the uncertainty surrounding the current vaccination campaign, while many Congolese remain sceptical about the vaccine. On a trip to Goma, Félix Tshesekedi returned to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
« I must admit that I too, with all the campaigning that has gone on around AsraZeneca, the suspension for a while by 11 European Union countries, made us doubt for a while. The product that arrived here was much talked about. This had the impact of cooling the population. We are going to start another campaign, » he said, promising to multiply the varieties of vaccine. He also announced that he will be vaccinated when a new campaign is launched. « We will set an example ourselves to encourage the population to do so.
Indeed, before these clarifications of the head of state, many observers wondered why Tshisekedi had not been vaccinated at the launch of the vaccination campaign. Unlike other heads of state, Tshisekedi was conspicuous by his absence at the launch of the vaccination campaign.
As a reminder, since the launch of the vaccination on 19 April, only 29,262 people have received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine. This, while the country is experiencing a significant increase in new cases following the third wave.