Rabat – Morocco’s Scientific Advisory Committee has authorized the use of the Russian Sputnik V and the US Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for the country’s national vaccination campaign, reports Reuters.
Over 4 million people have been vaccinated in Morocco, and while the national vaccination campaign has been a success so far, in order to avoid supply issues, the government body has opted for diversifying its supply.
So far Morocco has been using the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and the Chinese manufactured Sinopharm vaccine. Morocco has so far received 8.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Now that the most vulnerable groups, those suffering from chronic diseases and front-line workers like police, doctors, and teachers, have all been vaccinated, the time has come to diversify the supply to reach the rest of the population.
Read also: Will Morocco Intensify Lockdown Measures as Ramadan Approaches?
While the Russian-produced Sputnik V vaccine has been mired in controversy since its unveiling, a recent study by the world’s oldest and best-known general medical journal, The Lancet, has cleared much suspicion. The medical journal showed it to be 91.6% effective against COVID-19, making it one of the highest-scoring COVID-19 vaccines in use today.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) noted that 39 countries have already registered the Sputnik V vaccine for general use. The RDIF also recently signed an agreement to begin manufacturing the Sputnik V vaccines in Italy.
Meanwhile, the US Johnson & Johnson vaccine has shown less stellar results, for which the rate of efficacy rate stands at 72% when it was studied in the US, and at 64% when it was studied in South Africa.
According to Said Afif, a member of Morocco’s Scientific Advisory Committee, the two vaccines were chosen based on two main factors – efficiency and storage conditions, reports the Russian newspaper RIA Novosti.
As of March 9, Morocco has provided 4,017,087 citizens and residents with a free first dose, as well as 717,113 who have received their second dose that provides immunity from COVID-19.