By Sami Zaptia.
London, 15 April 2021:
Libya’s Health Ministry confirmed yesterday that 150,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac anti-Coronavirus vaccine and a shipment of medicines for Coronavirus patients arrived in Tripoli from Turkey. It reported that this shipment comes within the framework of cooperation between Libya and Turkey.
The Ministry added that this is the fourth shipment of vaccines to arrive in Libya in a series of shipments that are expected to follow to provide the vaccine to all members of Libyan society.
Indeed, the shipment from Turkey comes after the arrival of three batches (two Sputnik V and one AstraZeneca) of anti-Coronavirus vaccine to Libya between 4 and 9 April totalling 258,852 doses. With the shipment from Turkey, the total is now 408,852.
|Brand||Quantity||Date of arrival||Note|
|1||Sputnik V||101,252||040421||Via UAE|
|2||Oxford AstraZeneca||57,600||080421||Via Covax|
Libya’s Ministry of Health expects 12 million doses to arrive over time.
Libya’s population is 6.9 million excluding foreigners and illegal migrants, but the government has vowed to vaccinate all present in Libya irrespective of their legal status.
It will be recalled that 10 April Libya officially launched its vaccination campaign with Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba and his Health Minister Ali Zanati being the first to be vaccinated with their first doses.
The Health Ministry had said the rest of the cabinet would also be vaccinated in the hope that this would reassure the Libyan public that the vaccination is safe and that they should register on the online system to receive their vaccinations.
It is worth noting that Libya is part of the Covax system for receiving the vaccines through the agency co-sponsored by the UN.
It must also be noted that two days ago, a shipment of medical aid arrived from Egypt in Sebha and Libya’s first shipment of vaccines had arrived from the UAE. Both the UAE and Egypt had been allies of Khalifa Hafter in the war on Tripoli. Now, after the visit to Turkey earlier this week by the whole Libyan cabinet led by prime minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, Turkey has sent a shipment of vaccines.
The Sinovac vaccine has been found to have lower efficacy than the other brands of vaccines in studies across the world. Reports from Brazil had shown it to be only 50.7 percent effective against a local variant known as P1.
However, Turkey says that it has found Sinovac to be “significantly effective” after analyzing results from the vaccination of 7.5 million people with it.
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