India is sending two million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to Morocco. The Covishield shipment is set to arrive today.
Rabat – India expressed satisfaction with its decision to send two million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to Morocco.
The Indian embassy in Morocco said that the decision is another “manifestation of the excellent relations between India and Morocco.”
The shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine “Covishield,” developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University researchers is set to arrive today.
Serum Institute of India produced the vaccine.
The Indian government included Morocco, along with Brazil, among the few countries to which it allows early commercial COVID-19 vaccine export.
The Indian embassy recalled the country’s strong relationship with Morocco, which led to collaboration to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
India licensed the export of six million tablets of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a medicine used to treat COVID-19 carriers.
Moroccan health experts also benefited from India’s Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program.
Under the program, several health experts, including from Morocco, attended several training courses.
“Prior to the delivery of vaccines, a training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, was conducted on 19-20 January 2021 for immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels.”
India approved sending the vaccines to Morocco amid uncertainty among health officials and Moroccan citizens who questioned the delay of the vaccination campaign.
Morocco announced in December it had secured an initial 65 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, vowing that the vaccination campaign would start that month.
With increased concerns, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said earlier this week that health officials have no clue when the country will receive 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,” El Othmani said on January 19.
With India’s decision, Morocco is set to start the vaccine campaign in the coming days to make up for the delay.
Morocco and India share strong relations, with vows from officials of the two countries to see the relationship advance.
The two countries officially established relations in 1957 after New Delhi supported the decolonization of Morocco, recognizing the North African country as independent on June 20, 1956.
In 2018, trade between India and Morocco surpassed $1.5 billion.