By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 February 2021:
Libya has secured 55,000 Pfizer and 920,000 AstraZeneca anti-Corona virus vaccine doses. The revelation was made by Dr Sulieman Abusrewil, Deputy head of Libya’s Scientific Advisory Committee to Combat the Pandemic, during a press conference in Tripoli yesterday.
He added that the Scientific Advisory Committee is continuing its efforts to conclude other agreements with several vaccine manufacturers to provide other vaccines. These come in addition to the agreement it concluded with Covax.
Covax is the abbreviation for Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access. It is a global initiative that includes WHO that is attempting to coordinate international resources to enable the equitable access of COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines are subsidised by richer states for countries with lower incomes, but Libya is classified as a ‘‘self-financing participant’’ by Covax.
Abusrewil said outside factors determined when vaccines arrive and hence their internal distribution.
He admitted that Libya does not have the technical ability to establish if the new variants are present in the country.
Covax has been contracted to provide 2.8 million doses of the vaccine, which would be enough to vaccinate 1.4 million citizens, he reconfirmed.
Abusrewil pointed out that the target group for vaccination is the group most vulnerable to HIV infection: people over the age of 60 who suffer from chronic diseases, as well as medical and auxiliary medical staff, which he said represents one fifth of Libya’s population.
He said Libya’s epidemiological situation has increased slightly, but over the past six weeks it is relatively stable.