ALGIERS, 25 February 2021 – The Algerian government received 200,000 doses of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, Sinopharm, on Wednesday, officials in the capital, Algiers, said Thursday.
“There will be further deliveries of anti-Covid-19 vaccines until the country’s needs are fully met,” Algeria’s Communication Minister, Ammar Belhimer, told reporters, speaking of the deal reached with China..
Belhimer spoke at the Boufarik military airport west of the capital, Algiers, where the doses arrived and were being offloaded late Wednesday.
The vaccines are a gift from the Chinese government, according to China’s ambassador to China, Li Lianhe, cited Thursday by the Algerian Press Service (APS).
China has made similar donations to other African countries, including to Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Conakry, Seychelles and Zimbabwe.
Algeria is one of the rare countries across Africa which received and hosted Chinese doctors dispatched by Beijing to help fight the new coronavirus at its onset in the north African country in March 2020.
Algeria started to vaccinate some of its elderly, frontline medical professionals and those with underlying medical conditions last January.
Doses to kick-start the inoculation campaign were from Russia (50,000 doses of the Sputnik V) and another 50,000 doses of from the manufacturers of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Public health authorities in Algeria say they are in line, fully prepared and cleared, to receive 800,000 doses of additional vaccines from the COVAX initiative by the end of February 2021.
As of Thursday, Algeria had detected 112,000 cases of COVID-19 with nearly 3,000 deaths, according to official data shared with Johns Hopkins University Hospital.