Covid-19 in Algeria: Vaccination campaign launched in Algiers

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The first stage of vaccination campaign was launched, today, Sunday, Jan 31st, 2021, in the capital Algiers.

As such, the spokesman for the scientific committee in charge of the follow-up of Coronavirus pandemic evolution, Dr Djamel Fourar, who, also, serves as the Health Ministry’s manager for prevention, supervised the launch of the vaccination process in this province.

Earlier yesterday, Health Minister Abderrahmane Benbouzid launched the vaccination campaign in Blida, one of the most affected provinces by this pandemic in the beginning of the health crisis.

The operation will concern, in a first step, people prone to infections and transmissions, notably staff of the medical sector, the elderly and people with chronic disease. It will, also, be extended, as from Sunday, to cover other sectors, namely; Police services and Civil Protection, education and also Imams, political officials and the media body.

The first shipment of the Russian anti-Covid-19 vaccine “Sputnik V” landed, Friday, 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.

On the sidelines of this vaccination operation, the Minister stressed that the vaccination campaign has started as planned, and it took place in Blida, the most affected province by this pandemic in the beginning of the health crisis, adding that the this process will, gradually, extend to cover all provinces of the country, including gray areas.

For him, the vaccine is the best solution to ward off the spread of the pandemic and protect the health of citizens, while remaining abiding by the preventive measures set by the government.

In this vein, the head of the health sector in Algeria pointed out that the operation will concern, in a first step, people prone to infections and transmissions, notably staff of the medical sector. “The elderly and people with chronic disease, will also be extended to include as from Sunday other sectors, namely Police services and Civil Protection, education and also Imams, political officials and the media body,” he highlighted.

“Other batches of the vaccine will be received soon to meet the national demand,” he added, explaining that Algeria will, also, receive another batch of 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,” he stated.

According to the same official, the vaccine will be, obligatorily, administered “ 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.

In this context, he reassured the population 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 said, noting that “no country can conduct its vaccination campaign with a single vaccine”.

For his part, Mr. Fourar highlighted that Algeria received yesterday, Friday, 50.000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine, indicating that the vaccine will be provided in all provinces within the next two days.

In this connection, he said that the cost of the first batch was estimated at 1.5 billion dinars, adding that “the Algerian’s health is invaluable.”

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