After signing cooperation agreements with China, Morocco may also soon be able to produce its own COVID-19 vaccines.
Rabat – Morocco is among the countries eligible to benefit from a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine under a new World Health Organization (WHO) initiative aiming to produce up to 100 million doses.
Morocco is one of 172 countries participating in the “Mechanism for Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccine.” The WHO initiative aims to “control the pandemic through equitable access to vaccines against COVID-19.”
Morocco falls within the category of 92 lower-middle-income countries and territories that are eligible for the program. Morocco ranks alongside Algeria and Tunisia in this category.
If selected as a beneficiary, Morocco could acquire AstraZeneca or Novavax candidate vaccines for COVID-19 at $3 per dose.
This initiative follows the collaboration between the Serum Institute of India (SII), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. By partnering with the Indian vaccine giant, the two organizations aim to make COVID-19 vaccines accessible to low- and middle-income countries.
Morocco’s participation in the COVID-19 vaccine race
Morocco does not only rank among the countries in need of a COVID-19 vaccine but also participates in the production of it.
The North African country will thus be among the first served in this new stage of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Moroccan Minister of Health, Khalid Ait Taleb, said on August 20 that the agreement with China will allow Morocco to have its own vaccine as soon as possible.
Jun Mao, the charge d’affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Rabat, said the agreements represent the excellent “strategic relations between China and Morocco in terms of cooperation against COVID-19, which is entering a new phase.”
Morocco‘s Foreign Affair Minister, Nasser Bourita, said: “We decided to conduct these multicenter clinical trials of the vaccine together, in an unprecedented first in the history of Morocco.”
The signing of the agreements came three days after Morocco’s Ministry of Health announced that the country is set to participate in various international “multicenter trials” to obtain sufficient doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.