Morocco’s Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, declared today, January 19, that health authorities in the country are still uncertain about when they will receive COVID-19 vaccines.
El Othmani made the statement during the monthly general policy session at the House of Representatives. This month’s meeting aimed to discuss the upcoming national vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
The head of government blamed Morocco’s lack of awareness about the delivery date of its ordered vaccines on the competitiveness of the global market for COVID-19 vaccines.
“At the international level, everyone is asking for vaccines and orders have reached more than one billion doses. Manufacturers do not have the ability to keep up with all the orders at once,” he explained.
El Othmani also argued that the countries producing COVID-19 vaccines cannot begin exporting them until they meet their domestic needs.
“Just like when we manufactured face masks, we did not export them until we achieved domestic sufficiency. These countries are doing the same thing,” he said.
Besides the incapacity of manufacturers to produce enough vaccines, El Othmani mentioned that “rich countries” purchase vaccines by paying up to nine times the normal prices.
“The scarcity of vaccines has led countries that have enough money to offer prices that are five times higher, and sometimes even nine times higher, than the normal price,” he claimed.
The Moroccan official expressed his hope that the country will receive the vaccines as soon as possible. However, unlike health officials who claimed that the first lot of vaccines would arrive this week, El Othmani did not specify any timeframe.
The head of government also promised that the national vaccination campaign against COVID-19 will begin as soon as vaccines arrive.
Morocco initially announced the vaccination campaign in November, saying it will begin “in a few weeks.” However, after more than two months, health authorities seem to have no clue when it can finally begin.