According to the instructions of Mohammed VI transmitted on November 9th, the vaccination campaign must reach the entire population over 18 years of age by the end of March.
While the fear of a new lockdown hovers over the kingdom for several weeks, given the staggering number of contaminations, Mohammed VI is taking everyone by surprise by announcing the imminent launch of a vaccination campaign. “His Majesty the King has given His High Guidelines for the launch, in the coming weeks, of a massive vaccination operation against Covid-19,” said a statement from the royal cabinet.
In the presence of the task force made up of royal advisors and members of the government, Mohammed VI chaired a working session on the evening of Monday, November 9th, devoted to this strategy of vaccination against Covid-19.
Royal Task Force
The meeting was attended by the personal adviser of King Fouad Ali El Himma, the head of government Saaddin El Othmani, the Minister of Interior Abdelouafi Laftit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, the Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb, the Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces General Abdelfattah Louarak, the Commander of the Royal Gendarmerie Mohamed Haramou, the Director of the DGSN Abdellatif Hammouchi, on the basis of the opinion delivered by the National Scientific Committee.
BASED ON THE RESULTS OF THE CLINICAL STUDIES, THE SAFETY, EFFICACY, AND IMMUNOGENICITY OF THE VACCINE HAVE BEEN PROVEN.
“According to the results of clinical studies already completed or still ongoing, the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of the vaccine have been proven,” the statement issued by the Royal Cabinet reassures. No fewer than 600 Moroccan beta testers took part in clinical trials that began last August at the Ibn Rochd University Hospital in Casablanca and the Avicenne University Hospital in Rabat.
The results of these studies are due on November 15th. In addition, the vaccine has been tested in nearly one million people worldwide, including Brazil, Argentina, and Egypt.
“The vaccination campaign could start as early as next week,” says a source close to the Health Department. It should be carried out in two phases, as the Royal Cabinet has also specified.
“Priority will be given to front-line staff, in this case, health personnel, public authorities, security forces, and national education personnel,” the statement said.
Priority to the most vulnerable
This first step should take place over a month before expanding vaccination to the entire population, with priority given to the elderly and those most vulnerable to the virus. “If we start this November, we could vaccinate and immunize the entire population over the age of 18 by March,” says our source. The vaccination will be given in two injections, 21 days apart.
At this time, no announcement has been made about the quantities of vaccine to be delivered to Morocco. But some sources say an initial order of 5 million doses is expected to reach the kingdom in the next few days.
THE ROYAL ANNOUNCEMENT REASSURES MOROCCO’S ABILITY TO POSITION ITSELF IN THE GLOBAL RACE TO ACQUIRE VACCINES.
In any case, the royal announcement reassures the country’s ability to position itself in this global race to acquire vaccines: 51% of orders are destined for only 13% of the world’s population.
Morocco certifies that it has obtained from Sinopharm the right to produce the vaccine itself and then export it to other countries on the continent. The kingdom is also in negotiations with Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and CanSino Biologics to procure vaccines.
The Moroccan announcement comes at the same time as Pfizer and BioNTech announced last Monday 9th November that they have announced their “90 percent effective” vaccine, for which they will seek an emergency license in the United States. Clearly, the race between laboratories for the vaccine is a difficult one.
Meanwhile, yesterday, Brazil suspended testing of another Chinese vaccine, Sinovac’s CoronaVac, after a “serious incident”. But the laboratory denies any link between the incident and its vaccine.
In addition, WHO and GAVI launched the COVAX initiative this summer, which involves Africa. The goal? To distribute the vaccines – when they are validated – to all countries in an equitable manner (on a per capita basis).