The emergence of a new strain has raised concerns over the efficacy of vaccines
Rabat – Amid widespread apprehension over the new strain of coronavirus that has emerged in the UK, a top Moroccan virologist insists that COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the new mutation.
Azeddine Ibrahimi, the director of the medical biotechnology laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rabat, made his comments on Tuesday during a webinar organized by the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS.)
Ibrahimi took part in the webinar about the challenges that COVID-19 poses to Morocco and he seized the opportunity to again reassure worried Moroccans. The new strain is not more deadly and the planned vaccines “will keep their effectiveness against this virus,” he stated.
The UK strain, or the “british mutation” as Ibrahimi called it, has not been detected in Morocco so far. Furthermore, the planned national vaccination campaign can proceed on schedule, the virologists reassured. Morocco has so far acquired 10 million doses of the Chinese Sinopharma vaccine and is planning to acquire an additional 17 million doses of the vaccine being produced by AstraZenica.
“Morocco has adopted a proactive approach while taking into account the logistical aspect which includes storage, distribution and vaccination,” Ibrahimi told his PCNS webinar audience. Ibrahimi stated that the vaccination campaign will first focus on the most vulnerable people and will exclude people under 18.
The Moroccan virologist also said he expects a “new generation of vaccines” between the end of May and early June. Despite the emergence of the new UK strain of COVID-19, Moroccans have shown no significant side effects to tested vaccines and the vaccination campaign can move to the next phase.
Ibrahimi took time to reassure citizens that no Moroccan would be forced to receive vaccinations or drugs. He called for “sensitive citizens” to receive vaccination in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. “It is primarily about a spirit of citizenship,” Ibrahimi urged. “The goal is the protection of others and the preservation of the health and economy of the Kingdom.”
Ibrahimi concluded that the Moroccan epidemic, and the new UK strain, mean that “vigilance must remain in order,” even when the vaccination campaign commences.