Tunisia Set to Receive First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

Tunisia announced on March 8 that the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Russia was set to arrive to begin mass vaccination campaigns.

According to a presidency statement, 30,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine enough for 15,000 people will arrive on March 9 and will be followed by an additional 500,000 doses “within weeks” for 250,000 thousand people in the North African country with a population of 11.7 million.

The statement cited “continuous diplomatic efforts” for the delivery of the vaccines.

Mass vaccination campaigns in Tunisia, one of the last North African countries to conduct inoculations, is expected to begin in the coming days.

“With the concerted efforts of all the competent civil and military authorities, these quantities will be distributed according to the priorities that will be set by the National Committee to Combat Coronavirus,” the statement read.

Tunisia is also expecting a donation of 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from China after the Chinese Embassy announced its pledge last month “in view of the traditional and friendly relations between China and Tunisia and in order to further support Tunisia’s anti-epidemic efforts.”

“China reaffirms its readiness to continue to help Tunisia in its fight against the coronavirus to the extent possible,” the Chinese Embassy in Tunisia said in a statement.

The Tunisian government also had previously announced that it was expecting 94,000 doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and by AstraZeneca-Oxford under the global COVAX initiative led by the World Health Organization. But delivery has been delayed.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Tunisia has recorded 238,017 cases and 8,225 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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