ALGIERS, 31 December 2020 – The government of Algeria has decided to order the Russian “Sputnik V” vaccine for the inoculation of Algerians against the new coronavirus.
The decision was announced at the end Wednesday in Algiers of the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad.
Earlier this month, the Algerian government announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided free for all Algierian citizens.
Algerian officials says they plan to sign a “direct agreement” to purchase the vaccine from a Russian laboratory, press reports cite Algerian Health Minister Abderrahmane Benbouzid as saying.
Direct talks are ongoing between Algeria’s Pasteur Institute and the Russian vaccine producers, according to the health minister.
Benbouzid said the decision by cabinet constitutes effective implementation of an action plan outlined by the Algerian President to begin innoculations in the country in January 2021.
Some media reports said Algeria has not forfeited its right to buy vaccines from sources other than Russia.
The Sputnik V vaccine was the first to be presented in August 2020 by Russian President Vladimir Putin as an official vaccine against COVID-19.
Russia completed clinical trials on the vaccine last December 19 and announced that the vaccine had been found to 91.4 percent effective.
Algerian President Tebboune returned home this week from medical evacuation in Germany where he was treated for COVID-19.
Morocco is the other North African country that decided “to go East”, making the choice of buying the China Sinopharm vaccine.