Ambassador Peter Vrooman’s Speech for U.S. Government Donation of Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine to Mozambique
Your Excellency, Dr. Armindo Tiago, Minister of Health;
Your Excellency, Carmelita Namashulua, Minister of Education and Human Development,
Your Excellency, Vicente Joaquim, Secretary of State, Maputo City
Your Excellency, Eneas da Conceição Comiche, Mayor of Maputo.
Reverend Bishop Dinis Matsolo, Executive Director of PIRCOM.
UNICEF Country Representative, Maria Luisa Fornara
WHO Representative, Severin Ritten Von Xylander
Dear students of Escola Secundária Zedequias Manganhela,
Estimados amigas moçambicanas e amigos moçambicanos,
It is a great honor to join you today, as we unite to advance the health and development of the future of Mozambique. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Mozambicans have shown remarkable resilience. And Mozambique has seen notable success in preventing and protecting the community against the virus. Witih 96 percent of adults vaccinated, Mozambique has achieved one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. That is something worth celebrating.
Today marks another moment of celebration, as we join together to launch the adolescent vaccine campaign.
On behalf of the United States government, it is a privilege to be Mozambique’s long-standing partner in health. For nearly 20 years, we have fought the HIV/AIDS epidemic together, through the work of PEPFAR. For decades, we have dedicated ourselves to protecting people – especially the most vulnerable – from malaria, polio, TB, and other infectious diseases. And since 2020, we have built on this partnership to combat COVID-19.
From donating 4.5 single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines, to developing a COVID prevention awareness campaign, to supporting the heroic health care providers, we have stood by you in this fight. And in response to the Government’s request for Pfizer vaccines, the U.S. Government has delivered 4.9 million doses for adolescents. This is the same vaccine American adolescents receive. It is effective and it is safe. We have also invested in ensuring these doses reach every district, every health facility, and every community in the country. With the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and the health partner group, Mozambique has the in-country cold chain preparedness to get young people vaccinated. In vaccinating adolescents like the fantastic students of Escola Secundária de Zedequias Manganhela – one of the largest age groups in Mozambique will finally get vaccinated. In vaccinating adolescents, we are strengthening the nation’s collective resilience against this virus.
I appeal to parents, grandparents, guardians, teachers and the community at large to encourage young people to get vaccinated now, because none of us are protected from COVID-19 until we all are. During this nationwide campaign, adults can get their COVID booster shot and routine immunizations. It is our individual and collective responsibility to take action now so that our children and their children can have a better tomorrow.
The United States is committed to doing all that we can to help Mozambique reach high vaccination rates among its entire population. We know that the future of Mozambique is its youth. Minister Tiago and Minister Namashulua: Once again, it is an honor to stand with you today as we keep youth healthy, because the investments we make today will help us secure a healthier tomorrow for everyone.
Juntos somos mais fortes.
Muito obrigado. Estamos Juntos.