Covid-19 vaccine to be available in Eastern Mediterranean in February

Cairo, Jan 27 (efe-epa).- The Eastern Mediterranean region will receive Covid-19 vaccines in February, with plans to reach 25 million doses in March, through the Covax facility, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

“We know that by February we will start to have some doses and we will reach about 25 million doses in the month of March and they will increase month after month. In accumulation, we are shooting for 355 million doses for the region by December,” director of communicable diseases Yvan Hutin said during a press conference in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

The WHO and several global health funds last year launched the Covax initiative that aims for a fair distribution of vaccines between developed and developing countries.

Hutin did not specify which countries will be the first to receive these doses in the region, which includes 22 countries from Morocco to Pakistan and Afghanistan, saying that “bilateral deals have complicated the situation.”

He added it had been a complex process with the Covax engaging many partners, saying that “bilateral deals have complicated the situation,” and calling for “engaging in Covax and against vaccine nationalism,” as WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus did before.

In addition, Hutin stressed that “the best way” to ensure vaccines in these countries “is going to be through Covax.”

Meanwhile, regional emergency director Richard Brennan said that there were three Covid-19 variants currently spreading across the world and there have been more than one variant of the virus documented in 10 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Bahrain, which has one of the highest vaccination rate globally after administering the dose to almost 9 percent of the population, announced earlier Wednesday that authorities had detected a new variant in the coronavirus positive cases, without giving further details. EFE-EPA


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