Morocco orders 65 million vaccine doses
Morocco said Thursday it had ordered 65 million doses of novel coronavirus vaccine, as the North African kingdom prepared to launch a vaccination campaign targeting 25 million people.
“Preparations have reached very advanced stages,” Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb said in a statement on the roll-out plans. “Field exercises covering all stages of the process of vaccinating citizens have been put in place.”
A government source confirmed to AFP that Morocco has opted for the Chinese Sinopharm and British AstraZeneca vaccines, which both require two shots.
No date has been given for the arrival of the jabs or for the start of the vaccine rollout. The vaccination campaign will first target frontline staff in the health, security and education sectors, as well as vulnerable and elderly people, before being extended to the rest of the population.
King Mohammed VI has decreed that the vaccine will be administered free of charge. Morocco, a country of around 35 million people, has officially recorded more than 425,000 novel coronavirus cases and 7,130 deaths. On Wednesday, authorities imposed a nationwide three-week night-time curfew.
Gatherings have been prohibited and restaurants, cafes, shops and department stores have been ordered to close from 8 pm. In the major cities of Casablanca, Marrakesh, Agadir and Tangier, restaurants have been shuttered for three weeks.
Morocco has extended a state of public health emergency until January 10, 2021.