JOHANNESBURG, March 3 (Xinhua) — Lesotho received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out a year ago.

Lesotho received the 36,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine via COVAX, a multilateral vaccine initiative backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the agency and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“This is a momentous occasion … COVID-19 has taken a toll on countries around the world and Lesotho is no exception. We know this is the first step,” said Richard Banda, WHO representative in the southern African country.

“We know the only way out of this crisis is to ensure that vaccinations are available for all,” said Anurita Bains, representative of UNICEF Lesotho, noting that the UN stands ready to support the roll-out of the COVAX program.

Xinhua