Moderna Inc said on Thursday it had entered a supply agreement with the Botswana government for its COVID-19 vaccine.

The Botswana Medicines Regulatory Authority (BMRA) has issued an emergency use authorisation for the vaccine, Moderna said.

The latest agreement is separate from the 500 million vaccine doses, which Moderna has agreed to supply to the GAVI-led COVAX vaccine sharing scheme, the company said.

The country has recorded 54 973 COVID-19 cases so far with 51 259 recoveries and 849 deaths.

Economy

Botswana’s economy is projected to grow by 8.3% this year, supported by stronger global diamond demand and the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

It added however that the growth outlook was subject to high uncertainty, with downside risks stemming mainly from the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, availability and deployment of vaccines, and lower-than-expected diamond revenue.

The economy of the diamond-rich nation contracted by 7.9% in 2020 owing to the coronavirus crisis.

“The Botswana economy is expected to recover in 2021, with growth projected at 8.3%, driven by improvements in the global demand for diamonds, the easing of restrictions on mobility, and the expansionary fiscal stance,” the fund said in a statement.