During an interview, Morocco’s minister of health also discussed the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. He announced that Morocco will diversify its vaccine sources.
Rabat – Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb has expressed Morocco’s determination to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of all types of vaccines.
In an interview with Sputnik News earlier this week, Ait Taleb said that Morocco seeks to supply vaccines to sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa by positioning itself as a self-sufficient producer.
With this ambition, the country seeks to produce all kinds of vaccines with a “high-tech vaccine production platform in the Mohammed VI technological city of Tangier.”
He said the factory will allow the development of Moroccan-made vaccines. The country also aims to expand production at Casablanca’s Pasteur Institute.
“These projects are going to take a few months to see the light of day, but it may be that at the end of next year we will already start production of our vaccines,” the Moroccan minister said.
COVID-19 vaccine campaign
The Moroccan minister also spoke about the country’s upcoming COVID-19 vaccine campaign.
“We are doing our best to get it started in mid-December,” the official said.
He said that the campaign seeks to cover 80% of people over 18, first targeting populations at high risk.
“If we can reach this threshold (80%), even if there are cases of contamination, the virus will automatically disappear spontaneously,” Ait Taleb said.
He added that Morocco will be able to free itself from the COVID-19 crisis, which is having a “strong impact on the economy and all other sectors that are currently suffering.”
Partnerships and production
The official recalled that Morocco is participating in multicenter vaccine trials for the first time, emphasizing that it is “above all a transfer of expertise and an asset for the country.”
Khalid Ait Taleb explained that the North African country is diversifying its supply market to secure enough doses for its population as vaccines are a “scarce commodity.”
“Production capacity is limited to meet the needs of the whole world,” he said.
Khalid Ait Taleb also emphasized the importance to not limit use to one specific vaccine.
“Each serum offers a particular type of immunity and the mixing of immunities achieves group immunity fairly quickly.”
Morocco signed a few collaboration agreements to secure doses of vaccines, including with Chinese laboratory Sinopharm and British-Swedish Astrazeneca.
“The clinical trials of their vaccines are very successful. If all goes well, we will have the first arrivals by December. For the other labs, negotiations are still ongoing,” the minister said.
Khalid Ait Taleb also announced Morocco’s plan to explore securing doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine.
The official plans to discuss the matter with his Russian counterpart next week.
Morocco is among the countries that continue to report thousands of new COVID-19 cases daily.
On Wednesday alone, Morocco reported 4,979 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 336,506.
The number of recoveries reached 284,496, while the number of deaths rose to 5,539 on November 25.
The number of active cases remains high, with 46,471 people currently identified as carriers.