COVID-19: Morocco’s Committee Discusses AstraZeneca Vaccine Authorization

COVID-19: Morocco’s Committee Discusses AstraZeneca Vaccine Authorization

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Rabat – Morocco’s COVID-19 advisory committee met on Thursday in Rabat to discuss the issue of national authorization of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

The National COVID-19 Vaccine Authorization Advisory Committee discussed all international information and data relating to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, state media reported.

Director of Pharmacy at the Ministry of Health Bouchra Meddah said the commission is studying the vaccine’s proper compliance with standards of manufacturing, safety, quality, and efficacy.

The commission is also reviewing the results of preclinical and clinical trials as well as the international recognition of the vaccine. 

Meddah said that the British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has given the green light for the vaccine’s marketing. She emphasized that Morocco has adopted the WHO procedure relating to the authorization to use the vaccine in a health emergency context.

In December, Morocco announced it acquired 65 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Sinopharm.

Director of the virology laboratory of the Hassan II University of Casablanca Moulay Mustapha Ennaji said the commission’s scientific exchanges make it possible to exhaustively study information relating to the AstraZeneca vaccine, in particular the pharmaceutical data and manufacturing processes.

“The committee will make a final decision on this vaccine as soon as possible,” Ennaji said.

The director of the biotechnology laboratory of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Rabat, Azeddine Ibrahimi, said the national commission is studying the AstraZeneca vaccine’s data with a view to making an appropriate decision in full transparency.

Morocco has not yet announced a date to begin its vaccine campaign.

Yesterday, Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb said vaccinations will start in “the coming days,” without giving a specific day.

He also called on all Moroccans to respect prescribed health measures during the vaccination period.

The minister said that Morocco can only achieve its intended herd immunity if more than 60% of the population is vaccinated.

Ait Taleb emphasized that there is a gap period between the two injections of the COVID-19 vaccine that Morocco selected.

Citizens will have to have two vaccinations on separate weeks.

During the gap between vaccinations, citizens will continue to have to follow regulations as they can still contract COVID-19.

“The vaccination campaign could be impacted if positive cases of COVID-19 are recorded during this gap period,” the minister argued.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Morocco is still increasing.

To date, Morocco has confirmed 440,970 COVID-19 cases, including 409,638 recoveries and 7,425 deaths.