ALGIERS-The first shipment of the Russian anti-Covid-19 vaccine “Sputnik V” landed, this afternoon at Bouafrik Airport (province of Blida), according to Ennahar TV.
The first shipment was received by Minister of Communication Ammar Belhimer, Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform Abdelrahmane Benbouzid, Minister of the Pharmaceutical Industry, Abdelrahmane Lotfi Djamel Ben Ahmed, and the Director of the Pasteur Institute.
On December 20, President Tebboune gave instructions to Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad to speed up the process of selecting the appropriate anti-Covid-19 vaccine and to launch the vaccination campaign from January 2021.
According to the Communication Minister and Government Spokesperson Ammar Belhimer, “the vaccination campaign will be symbolically launched from this wilaya “, considered the first hotbed of the epidemic in Algeria.
The first doses of the vaccine will be administered to medical staff, the elderly and those with chronic diseases before extending the operation to different categories of society, he said in a statement to the national press.
In addition to the Russian vaccine, Algeria is expected to receive another batch of the Covid-19 vaccine from China and India, as well as other countries.
Algeria should, in fact, receive, in February, another batch of the vaccine developed by the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical laboratory AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
The Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform, Abderrahmane Benbouzid, presented at a government meeting at the end of December the steps taken by his sector in connection with the acquisition of the anti-Covid vaccine -19, relating to the state of progress of the related contracts and which will allow the reception of the first deliveries of the vaccine in order to start the vaccination operation in January.
In view of the launch of the vaccination campaign, training for the supervisors of this campaign against Covid-19 was launched recently.
According to the same official, the vaccine will be administered “obligatorily in 2 doses, for the same person with an interval of 21 days”.
“Otherwise, this vaccine will be ineffective since each dose provides only 50% immunity against the virus,” he explained, stressing the priority of health workers being the first category supposed to benefit from it, followed by the various security forces, citizens aged 65 and above, then chronically- ill people.
For his part, Dr. Fourar, in this context, reassured the population, maintaining that “Algeria has opted for safe vaccines, with good safety and the fewest side effects”.
However, “it should also be known that the vaccination campaign will last a year or more,” he warned, noting that “no country can conduct its vaccination campaign with a single vaccine”.
He estimated, as such, that “a minimum rate of 60 to 70% vaccine coverage” is necessary to successfully steam the spread of the virus.
And to recall that in addition to imported vaccines, Algeria will benefit from the Covax system of the World Health Organization (WHO), including 190 countries and guaranteeing them to vaccinate, in fair proportions, 20% of their respective populations.