Morocco announced the acquisition of 65 million doses of vaccines for the coronavirus produced by the Chinese firm Sinopharm and the British AstraZeneca, at a time when the North African country is preparing to launch a vaccination campaign aimed at immunizing 80% of adults in the country. country.
Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb announced the figure at a cabinet meeting on Thursday. The government did not indicate whether the vaccines were purchased or provided by Covax, the global project to supply vaccines to developing countries.
His ministry said on Friday that Morocco had not yet received the vaccines.
Mustapha Ennaji Moulay, head of the virology department at Hassan II University in Casablanca and a member of the government’s scientific panel for COVID-19, said regulators were reviewing documentation on Sinopharm’s vaccine and that the program is expected to immunizations begin in the next few days.
Morocco has one of the most advanced vaccination plans in the region. The country also reported the second highest number of infections and deaths in Africa, after South Africa.
The health minister said the government’s goal is to vaccinate 25 million of the country’s 36 million inhabitants, Ratis, in accordance with the order of King Mohammed VI.
Although the Moroccan government has been promising vaccinations since the beginning of the month, the minister now said that preparations have reached a “very advanced” stage. He said authorities were conducting simulations at all immunization sites “to avoid any obstacles that may arise during the implementation of the vaccination program.”
In the first phase, the vaccine will be administered to medical personnel, public authorities, security services and people with chronic diseases. The health ministry said it deployed a computerized system to register the people included and monitor their health after receiving the vaccine.
The number of daily coronavirus cases in Morocco has dropped slightly in the past two weeks, but a drop in testing has raised concerns that the virus may be spreading at a faster rate than reported.