By Sami Zaptia.
London, 16 June 2021:
A new consignment of 100,000 Sputnik anti-Coronavirus vaccines arrived at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport yesterday, Libya’s Health Ministry reported. No mention was made of the consignment’s origin.
This is the third batch of Sputnik vaccines to arrive in Libya after the first batch of this brand consisting of 101,252 doses had arrived on 4 April and the second batch of 100,000 had arrived on 9 April.
|Brand||Quantity||Date of arrival||Note|
|1||Sputnik V||101,252||040421||Via UAE|
|2||Oxford AstraZeneca||57,600||080421||Via Covax|
|5||Oxford AstraZeneca||117,600||190521||Via Covax|
Overall, it is the sixth consignment of vaccines to arrive in Libya since the first shipment (of Sputnik V) arrived on 4 April. It brings the total number of vaccines of the three brands to arrive in Libya to 626,452 doses.
Libya’s Ministry of Health expects a total of 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. On 2 June the online registration system was opened for non-Libyans.
Vaccination campaign began in April
It will be recalled that on 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.
When will second doses start to be administered?
The Health Ministry revealed that after the completion of targeting an average of 70% of the primary target groups of the elderly, those with chronic diseases and workers on the front lines confronting the pandemic and medical and auxiliary medical elements in the isolation and filtering centres – the second dose will start to be rolled out.
Large quantities of Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be arriving
Quoting the Information Office of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Health Ministry had said ‘‘large quantities of Johnson & Johnson vaccines will arrive’’. It did not give any timelines or quantities. It said that after these large quantities arrive, Libya can finish the challenge of providing the vaccine, and it becomes available to all citizens in all parts of the country.
Vaccinations will continue to arrive in succession giving high level of community immunity
The Health Ministry said consignments of vaccinations will continue to arrive in succession in order to vaccinate all citizens and residents in the country to reach a high level of community immunity against the Corona virus.
People urged to register on online system
To limit and eliminate this pandemic, the Health Ministry urges people to take the initiative to register on the system to be vaccinated against the Corona virus by entering the following link: https://www.eservices.ly
It will be recalled that Libya’s vaccination rollout was to be as follows:
1-Astrazeneca vaccine for: All those above 70 years old registered on the online system.
2-Sputnik V vaccine for: a/Frontline healthcare personnel. b/ 50- to 60-year-olds registered on the online system.
However, in reality, anyone can now get vaccinated as long as they are registered on the online system. Libya Herald knows of several thirty- and forty-year-olds who have been vaccinated.
This came about as many of the targeted groups did not come forward for their vaccinations. This is partly due to the fasting month of Ramadan (which ended Thursday 13 May), a rejection of the vaccination in principle, and a rejection of the Russian/Chinese brands.
The latest Coronavirus cases and vaccinations
Meanwhile, the latest National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) figures reported today read as follows:
|Total number of people vaccinated||354,061|
|Total number of Coronavirus cases||189,888|
|Total number of recovered cases||175,471|
|Total number of active cases||11,251|
|Total number of deaths||3,166|
|Total number of tests conducted over last 24 hours||3,729|
|Total rate of infection||8.8 percent|
However, these stats do not convey a true reflection of the pandemic in Libya as testing is very low and most mild cases are turned away to self-isolate at home. Most Libyans with mild cases have learnt how to self-treat themselves at home, avoiding the state health system which they suspect is unhygienic.
The private sector will not admit coronavirus cases and many doctors – especially those over the age of fifty – had for a long time in the early stages of the pandemic chose not to turn up to work for fear of catching the pandemic.