By Sami Zaptia.
London, 17 August 2021:
A new shipment of 200,000 Astra Zeneca anti-Coronavirus vaccines landed at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport today arriving from Greece. It was accompanied by a Greek delegation from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health.
This is the third Oxford AstraZeneca consignment to arrive, with the earlier two arriving via Covax. Overall, it is the thirteenth consignment of vaccines to arrive in Libya. It brings the total number of the four brands (Sputnik V, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Sinovac/pharm) received in Libya to 3,598,652 doses.
Launch of second doses
During the joint press conference held at the airport at the side of the aircraft that delivered the vaccines and the Greek delegation, the government announced that this batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will be used to launch the second doses for those who had already received their first dose of this brand.
Vaccine arrivals in Libya
|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|
|12||Oxford AstraZeneca||117,600||120821||Via Covax|
|13||Oxford AstraZeneca||200,000||170821||Via Greece|
Another 500,000 doses arriving?
Earlier this month the Libyan government said that another 500,000 doses (250,000 each of Pfizer and of Astra Zeneca) are also expected soon. Today, the government confirmed that more shipments are expected soon – without giving any further details.
Libya has ordered 12 million doses
It will be recalled that the Libyan government had announced earlier that it had ordered a total of 12 million doses for its population of 6.9 million people. The vaccine is available to non-national residents and illegal migrants too.
Over 800,000 vaccinated
According to the latest figures released by Libya’s National Disease Control Centre (NDCD) today, 882,844 people have now received a vaccination.
Vaccination drive launched
The government has launched a nationwide vaccination drive starting in the two biggest population centres, Tripoli and Benghazi.
New NCDC head takes over
On a related note, yesterday, Hayder Al-Sayeh took over from Badr Al-Din Al-Najar as the new head of the NCDC.
Al-Najar was criticised for his poor handling of the Coronavirus outbreak and implicated in members of Libya’s MiniFootball team catching malaria during a tournament in Nigeria having been allowed to travel without prior inoculation. The Football Association accuses Al-Najar for giving them the green light to travel without being inoculated. Al-Najar denied this.
It is a rare example of Libyan leaders being made responsible for their (alleged actions). Critics of Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba say he used Al-Najar as a scapegoat.