Tunis, Mar 13 (efe-epa).- Tunisia on Saturday got its coronavirus vaccination rollout underway by administering the first of 30,000 Sputnik V doses to healthcare workers and elderly people suffering from underlying health conditions.
Tunisia, which has reported Africa’s second highest mortality rate from Covid-19, aims to inoculate around 20% of its 15 million inhabitants by July, when the tourism season begins.
For that to happen, Tunisia needs a regular flow of jabs and the vaccination centers across the country must work at optimum capacity, health minister Faouzi Mahdi said on Friday.
In the upcoming weeks, Tunisia is expected to receive around 500,000 doses of vaccines, 93,600 from Pfizer and between 148,000 and 207,000 from AstraZeneca through the World Health Organization’s COVAX mechanism as well as 100,000 more shots purchased from Pfizer.
The Arab country will also get 1.3 million shots, mostly AstraZeeneca’s, before June from the African Union’s initiative, while it negotiates with pharmaceutical companies to reach five million jabs by the end of 2021.
Tunisia has reported over 241,000 cases and 8,329 deaths from Covid-19. EFE-EPA