The vaccines that Morocco is using in its national vaccination campaign against COVID-19 are safe, assured Moroccan scientist Moncef Slaoui.
In a recent interview with Le360, Slaoui spoke highly of Morocco’s “anticipative strategy” to curb COVID-19 and quickly launch a national vaccination campaign.
Commenting on the vaccines that Morocco adopted — the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine and the British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine, Slaoui argued that the country has made “a safe choice.”
“I do not have enough information about the Sinopharm vaccine, but I know that it is based on a well-documented, well-proven technology, which is safe and, apparently, very efficient,” the scientist said.
“The second vaccine, AstraZeneca, is a vaccine that I know very well. It is also a very efficient vaccine against severe illness, hospitalization, and coronavirus-related deaths,” he added.
“It is a little bit less efficient than RNA-based vaccines […], but I think that from the point of view of global health, what is important is to prevent severe illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. For this, the AstraZeneca vaccine is excellent,” the expert continued.
Slaoui also praised the vaccine manufacturing capabilities of India, the country that produces the AstraZeneca vaccines Morocco has ordered. “India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer,” he said.
According to the scientist, these indicators prove the quality of the COVID-19 vaccines that Moroccans receive.
Responding to a question about the efficiency of AstraZeneca vaccines for seniors aged 65 and over, Slaoui admitted that the vaccine has lower efficiency rates compared to some of its competitors.
He explained, however, that the difference in efficiency exclusively concerns the vaccine’s ability to prevent moderate COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever and cough.
“For severe symptoms and fatalities, the AstraZeneca vaccine has the exact same efficiency as vaccines developed by Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, or Pfizer,” the scientist declared.