ALGIERS – The first batch, composed of 50,000 doses of the Anglo-Swedish vaccine AstraZeneca, which was fabricated in India, arrived, in the early afternoon of Monday, Feb 1st, 2021, in the Houari-Boumediene International Airport (Algiers) onboard an Qatar Airways flight.
As such, this batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine comes few days after the batch of Russian vaccine Sputnik V, was received with a view to warding off the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Friday, 50,000 doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V arrived in the Boufarik military airport (Blida).
The vaccination campaign, to last throughout 2021, was symbolically kicked off in Blida (50km west of Algiers), the first national cluster of the pandemic, which appeared over a year ago, to get generalized to the capital Algiers and the remaining provinces.
In a statement to the press on the sidelines of the receipt of Astra-Zeneca vaccine, the spokesman of the scientific committee for monitoring the progress of Coronavirus pandemic Djamel Fourar underlined that this operation is part of the programme of the Ministry of Health and Population aimed at strengthening the distribution nationwide in order to provide the necessary vaccines against the Coronavirus in all the country’s provinces, adding that other batches of Covid-19 vaccine will be received shortly.
“This cargo of Astra-Zeneca vaccine will be destined to Pasteur Institute to be distributed from today nationwide in order to contain the pandemic quickly and effectively,” he said, adding that it will also strengthen supply capacities in all health units in Algeria.
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.
Noting that this vaccine was fabricated in India and dedicated to Algeria. Both countries maintain solid relations of fraternity and friendship drawn from a long common militant journey. Their Diplomatic relations were established in 1962, the year Algeria became independent from colonial rule from France. Since then, relations between the two countries have been cordial. The two nations support each other on vital issues at bilateral and multilateral levels.
Following the acquisition of the consignments of made-in-India vaccines, the Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted on Monday, using the hashtag ‘Vaccine Maitri’: “Arrival in Algeria. A trusted partnership stands renewed.”
It is worth recalling that India has already sent COVID-19 vaccines to many countries such as: Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Brazil and Nepal, South Africa, among others, especially that this country, known as, “the Pharmacy of the World” is one of the world’s biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.
For its part, the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance highlighted that Indian companies are producing up to half of the world’s vaccine supply, mostly for developing nations so as to allow them acquire this vaccine to stem the spread of the pandemic.
Based on the vision of the Indian PM to respond positively to the requests of different countries on the globe, India intends to authorize two other vaccines in the next few months, added to the two already authorized, namely; one licensed from Oxford University and AstraZeneca and another developed at home by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research.