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Algeria to receive on Friday first shipment of Russian anti-COVID vaccine Sputnik V
Algeria is set to receive on Friday the first shipment of Russia's anti-COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and to launch the vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus on Saturday, Communication Minister and Government Spokesperson Ammar Belhimer stated.
"Algeria will get the first batch of the Russian vaccine against coronavirus Sputnik V on Friday and it will allow to launch the vaccination campaign already on Saturday in line with the order, issued earlier by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune," Algeria Press Service news agency cited Belhimer as saying.
According to him, a plane with the first shipment of the Russian vaccine will land at Bouafrik Airport in the country's province of Blida, where the vaccination campaign is expected to begin.
On December 20, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune instructed Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad to pick a vaccine to launch mass vaccination in January. Sputnik V vaccine was officially registered in Algeria on January 10.
On December 14, Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform Abderrahmane Benbouzid revealed that vaccination against COVID-19 would definitely be free of charge for all categories of citizens. He also highlighted that Algeria would be cautious in choosing the vaccine to use.
Algeria reported its first coronavirus case on February 25, 2020. As of today, Algeria is ranked 79th in the world in terms of reported COVID-19 cases, which currently stand at 106,610. More than 2,880 people died of the novel coronavirus infection, while over 72,740 recovered from the illness.
Last August, Russia became the first worldwide to register the vaccine against the coronavirus which was named Sputnik V. The preparation was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry.
Its post-registration trials began in Moscow on September 7, with volunteers receiving the first vaccine on September 9. A total of 40,000 people are involved in the program, 10,000 of them have received a placebo instead of the anti-Covid jab.
Based on interim research results, the effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine exceeds 95% on the 42nd day after the first dose, provided that a patient gets the second dose.
According to the Gamaleya Center, over 50 countries submitted applications to purchase the vaccine. In addition to Russia, Sputnik V has already been registered in the UAE, Hungary, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Serbia, Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay, Palestine, Bolivia and Algeria.
[Source: Tass, Rabat, 29Jan21]
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