MOROCCO has received half a million doses of China’s Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine as it prepares to be the first African country to roll out a national immunisation campaign.
The consignment is the second batch to arrive in Morocco after 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by India’s Serum Institute.
The government has announced that it will first start vaccinating health, security, and teaching staff this week and has launched a website for other people to register for the vaccine.
The country signed a deal with Sinopharm in August which involved conducting clinical trials in Morocco as well as announcing plans to set up a production plant.
King Mohammed VI and China’s President had also discussed vaccine cooperation and in September Morocco agreed a deal to buy AstraZeneca vaccine doses.
Morocco plans to vaccinate 25 million people, or 80% of its population, within three months.
However, with increasing global competition for vaccine doses, Morocco’s ability to roll out a widescale national programme depends on a steady flow of supply, health ministry officials said.
By Tuesday, Morocco had recorded 467,493 coronavirus cases, including 8,187 deaths and 14,483 active cases.