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In Algeria, the anti-covid-19 vaccination campaign begins in Blida

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The vaccination campaign begins Saturday in Algeria, the day after the arrival of the first doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. The city of Blida will be the first stage of this campaign, announced the Minister of Communication.

It is in Blida, in central Algeria, that the vaccination campaign in the country begins on Saturday, January 30. The first doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V arrived Friday at the military airport of Boufarik, in the prefecture of Blida, without specifying the number of doses delivered.

“The vaccination campaign will symbolically begin on Saturday from Blida,” said Minister of Communication Ammar Belhimer, quoted by the official APS agency. It is indeed this city that was the first epicenter of the disease in the country and one of the most affected. The minister added that the vaccination would primarily concern medical personnel, the elderly and the chronically ill.

At the end of December, Algiers announced that it had ordered 500,000 doses of vaccine from its Russian ally.

The largest Maghreb country (44 million inhabitants) must also receive a batch of Sinopharm vaccines in the coming days from China, another traditional partner of Algeria.

“Other vaccines will soon be received from China, India and other countries,” the Minister of Communication promised.

Professor Ryad Mahyaoui, member of the Scientific Committee, recently reported on an order from the British laboratory AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

The first doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine are expected next month, he said.

Budget of 20 billion dinars

Currently treated with one foot in Germany following “complications” post-Covid-19, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune had ordered the government last month to accelerate the acquisition of the vaccine and to launch vaccination operations “as soon as January”.

The vagueness which surrounded the date of the arrival of the first doses of vaccine triggered the beginning of controversy in the Algerian media.

The overall budget for the vaccination campaign should reach 20 billion dinars (122 million euros), according to the Scientific Committee monitoring the evolution of the pandemic.

In a fatwa, the Ministry of Religious Affairs stressed Thursday that vaccination against the coronavirus is “essential to deal with the pandemic and does not constitute a danger to the health of citizens”.

“Available vaccines do not contain components prohibited by Sharia law [loi islamique]insisted the ministry’s fatwas commission, a religious advisory body.

The number of Covid-19 contaminations officially exceeds 106,000 cases in Algeria, including nearly 2,900 deaths, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health.

In neighboring countries, Tunisia has planned to carry out the first vaccinations in February while in Morocco, King Mohammed VI was vaccinated on Thursday, thus kicking off the national vaccination campaign.

With AFP

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