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Coronavirus

Morocco expects 4.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses soon: Officials

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Morocco expects new batches of coronavirus vaccine to arrive soon from Russia, South Korea and China, allowing it to continue its rapid immunization roll-out despite a pause in exports from India, health ministry sources said.

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Morocco has already received 8.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, made in India, and Sinopharm vaccine, made in China, allowing it to administer more jabs than any other African country.

It expects 4.2 million more doses soon, said Health Ministry scientific committee member Said Afif, keeping it on track to reach its target of herd immunity before the summer.

These include 2 million more Sinopharm doses, 1 million of Russia’s Sputnik V shot and another 1.2 million AstraZeneca doses made in South Korea and bought through the Covax vaccine-sharing scheme, Afif said.

The health ministry has approved use of the Sputnik and South Korean-made AstraZeneca vaccines.

“Morocco is adopting a strategy of anticipation to ensure the vaccination campaign continues steadily regardless of the delays announced by AstraZeneca manufacturer in India,” Afif said.

India has put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot made by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s biggest vaccine-maker, to meet domestic demand as infections rise, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

A source from Morocco’s health ministry said the new vaccine shipments are expected in the coming days without offering further details.

By Friday, 4.29 million people had received a first jab in Morocco and 3 million the second dose.

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