Morocco secures 65m Covid-19 vaccines
JOHANNESBURG - Morocco says it has procured 65 million doses of coronavirus vaccines from China’s Sinopharm and Britain’s AstraZeneca, Business Times reported.
The financial daily said the North African country was getting ready to carry out a large-scale immunisation programme targeting 80 percent of its adult population.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI said in all, the country was looking to immunise 25 million of its 36 million people and the shots would be administered for free.
Morocco has registered the second biggest number of coronavirus infections on the continent after South Africa, reaching about 428 000 cases, out of which there have been over 7 000 fatalities.
The immunisation campaign will kick off with Sinopharm's vaccine, although it has not yet completed phase 3 of clinical tests intended to guarantee safety and effectiveness.
Front-line medical staff, public officials, teachers, security services and those with serious illnesses will be prioritised in the first leg of immunisation, according to Business Times.
Morocco also plans to locally manufacture the Chinese vaccine, although its first shipments will arrive directly from the Asian country.
Health minister Khalid Ait Taleb said preparations had reached a very advanced phase.
Health officials were implementing simulations at all vaccination centres to avoid any hindrances that may come out in the implementation of the inoculation programme, the minister said.
Meanwhile, as a safety measure to contain the spread of Covid-19 during New Year's day festivities, local officials ordered a ban on private and public gatherings, shut down food establishments and enforced a curfew that went into effect on Wednesday night.
The curfew is expected to last until the second week of January.