Morocco’s health ministry recently issued a similar statement on the AstraZeneca vaccine after concerns.
Rabat – Morocco’s Ministry of Health has announced that it will maintain the use of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for populations aged 60 and over.
The ministry said that available data allow the use of the vaccine for the elderly in line with the national vaccination strategy against COVID-19.
The statement emphasized that many countries, including Morocco have authorized the use of the Chinese vaccine without specifying any age limit.
“The overall immunogenicity of the Sinopharm vaccine during phase I and II clinical trials is excellent both for the Sinopharm beijing vaccine including people over 60 ears of age and the Sinopharm Wuhan vaccine,” the ministry said.
It described the vaccine as excellent, with a seroconversion rate ranging between 97% and 100% after two injections.
Phase III of the clinical trial showed an overall efficacy of 86%, proving the vaccine as safe, the ministry arged.
“The third phase of the clinical trial of the Sinopharm Wuhan vaccine, part of which took place in Morocco, included people aged 60 and over,” the ministry explained.
It emphasized the preliminary results showed good tolerance in populations aged 60 or above.
Out of 36,009 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine administered to this age group as part of Morocco’s ongoing vaccination campaign, only eight cases of minor side effects have been reported, noted the statement.
People aged 60 and over represent 20% of the population in Morocco, the ministry said, revealing that this group has recorded 16.7% of Morocco’s confirmed COVID-19 cases and 75% of the national death toll.
“The fatality rate among those aged 60 and over is 7.9%,” the ministry said.
The statement comes in response to concerns and questions over the safety of the vaccine for the elderly.
Some health officials, including from Pakistan, have said the Sinopharm vaccine is not effective for people over 60 years of age.
But Morocco has maintained that its own, independent findings do not support the allegations that the vaccine is not safe for certain age categories.
Earlier this month, Morocco’s health ministry issued a similar statement to reassure citizens of the efficiency of the AstraZeneca vaccine for populations aged 65 and over.
The reassuring statement came after some European countries, including France, announced their decision to restrict the use of AstraZeneca vaccines to people aged under 65.
Morocco, however, said that its data allowed for the use of the vaccine to be maintained for the population aged 65 and up.
Morocco’s vaccinated population reached 463, 966 as of February 7. The vaccination campaign targets 33 million of Morocco’s population to reach herd immunity.