Morocco to launch vaccination campaign against coronavirus

Rabat (AFP) –


Morocco's King Mohammed VI on Monday endorsed a decision by scientists to launch a nationwide vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus, an official statement said.

It was not clear however what vaccine would be used or when the campaign would start, according to the statement, which only said it would be launched in the coming weeks.

The king's decision was taken on the advise of the national scientific committee, which believes vaccination "is a real solution to put an end to the... pandemic".

The number of Covid-19 infections in Morocco has been rising steadily in the past few days, with more than 5,000 cases recorded daily.

The total number of confirmed contaminations since the outbreak began in March now stands at 259,951, including 4,356 deaths.

Morocco's decision to launch a vaccination campaign comes as US giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced Monday that their vaccine has in trials proved 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 infections.

The official Moroccan statement said that the North African kingdom was able to obtain a vaccine, which it did not identify, "thanks to the king's personal involvement".

Morocco is taking part in clinical tests of a vaccine developed by Chinese company Sinopharm, which has agreed to provide the kingdom with 10 million doses before the end of the year if results are positive.

The Moroccan statement said the vaccination campaign will first target "front line workers", including from the health sector and security forces, as well as the elderly.

A public health state of emergency in force across Morocco since mid-March has been extended until December 10.