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Rabat – As Morocco’s national vaccination campaign experiences a lull, the North African country is expecting a shipment of at least 500,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm in the coming days.
According to various local media, a Royal Air Maroc (RAM) Dreamliner departed for Beijing, China, this weekend to pick up the doses of the Chinese vaccine. The Dreamliner is expected to return either Monday or Tuesday.
The ministry of health is expected to publish an official statement concerning the vaccine shipment in the coming hours, a “reliable source” told Moroccan outlet Medias24.
The news comes amid efforts to deepen Morocco-China cooperation. Earlier this month, the speaker of the National People’s Assembly of China, Li Zhanshu informed the speaker of Morocco’s House of Representatives, Habib El Malki, of China’s intention to supply Rabat with approximately 10 million doses of the vaccine between April and May.
Sinopharm shipments have been arriving in Morocco in small amounts and rather sporadically, totalling at 2.5 million doses so far, but this is partly due to China’s efforts to supply vaccines to poorer nations that countries like the US and the UK have been ignoring. China is currently providing 55% of the vaccines it has produced for non-domestic use.
While Morocco’s national vaccination campaign has slowed down considerably, it could still go on due to the approximately 300,000 vaccine doses received earlier this month through the COVAX program, as well as the safety doses in the AstraZeneca vaccine vials.
As of April 25, Morocco has vaccinated 4,723,635 people with the first dose, and 4,217,485 people with the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The North African country has registered a total of 509,363,326 cases of the virus, of which 495,262 have recovered, while 8,992,4 have died.