Morocco’s Ministry of Health has warned that vaccines against seasonal flu do not replace the COVID-19 vaccine that Moroccans will soon be able to receive.
Health authorities also announced that receiving a shot against the flu is not a contraindication for the COVID-19 vaccine, as long as the two injections are done at separate times.
“It is enough to wait for a period of two to three weeks between the two vaccines,” said Abdelkrim Meziane Belfkih, the head of the transmissible diseases division at the health ministry, during a press conference on December 8.
The health official made the statement to raise awareness about the upcoming national vaccination campaign against COVID-19, especially since it nearly coincides with the national flu vaccine campaign.
Morocco’s campaign against seasonal flu began on November 2 and is still ongoing. It mainly targets people at risk of serious complications, such as pregnant women and people with chronic conditions, as well as Moroccans over 64 years old and children under five.
The Ministry of Health offers the flu vaccine free of charge to health professionals, pregnant women, and people who undergo regular hemodialysis. Other citizens are also invited to receive the vaccine, which is reimbursable by Morocco’s Compulsory Medical Insurance (AMO).
The country’s vaccination campaign against COVID-19, meanwhile, is set to begin in the coming weeks. Morocco will use a Chinese Sinopharm vaccine and beneficiaries will receive two separate injections over two weeks.
The national vaccination campaign will prioritize health professionals, local authorities, security services, pedagogical staff, and people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
In total, however, the campaign seeks to cover at least 80% of Moroccans. King Mohammed VI ordered the government on December 8 to make sure all Moroccans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge.