Constantine, Algeria, Sep 29 (EFE).- Production of China’s CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine got under way Wednesday at a plant in this northeastern city thanks to an agreement between the Algerian and Chinese governments.
“Algeria thus becomes the first (Covid-19 vaccine-) producing country on the African continent,” Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane told journalists during a ceremony at the facility in Constantine.
“Once the objective of covering the national market is achieved,” Algeria will begin exporting the vaccine to neighboring countries, he said.
Algerian state pharmaceutical company Saidal will manufacture CoronaVac under license from China’s Sinovac Laboratories.
The Constantine plant will produce 1 million doses in October and double that amount in November, with output set to rise to 5.3 million doses in January 2022, according to Saidal.
At full capacity, the factory will turn out 320,000 doses a day, equating to 8 million doses monthly, Saidal executive Wisam Kisumia told Efe.
Since the first coronavirus case was detected in Algeria in February 2020, the country has reported a total of 203,000 infections and 5,797 deaths.
More than 14 million of Algeria’s nearly 45 million people have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, while 5.8 million are fully vaccinated, the government says. EFE no-jm/ta/dr