Morocco leads Africa in covid vaccination campaign
London, April 10, 2021 (AltAfrica)-New data released by Our World in Data revealed that Morocco fully vaccinated 11% of its population and leads Africa in the vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
The kingdom administered at least one dose of the vaccine to 12% of the entire population.
In comparison, other continental leaders such as South Africa and Zimbabwe have only administered at least one dose to 0.48% and 1.03% of their populations respectively.
Morocco began its vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in late January 2021.
In the early days of the vaccination campaign, Morocco administered different vaccines, including Oxford/AstraZeneca and China’s Sinopharm. Global allies such as China and India supplied millions of doses and Morocco recently received the first vaccine shipment from the World Health Organization’s COVAX program.
Morocco tested thousands of people each day since the start of the pandemic. In mid-March 2020, over 26% of the PCR tests yielded positive results. Amid the second wave in late November, tests reported a 24.7% positive rate. Morocco’s vaccination campaign has had a gradual impact on the rate of positive cases.
Currently, Morocco’s rate of positive PCR tests holds steady at approximately 4.4%.
Our World in Data lauded countries for their heightened testing efforts and stated, “Others [countries], such as Mexico, several South American countries, and Nigeria, only do a handful of tests – five or fewer – for every confirmed case. This results in a positive rate around 20% or even higher.”
By continuing to test frequently, Morocco has maintained a low, positive rate for administered PCR tests.
The requirement by authorities for a negative PCR test prior to air travel aided the country’s efforts in monitoring the rate of positive tests.
Morocco followed other countries’ vaccination protocols by prioritizing those aged 60 and above. Additionally, Morocco promptly vaccinated first responders, government officials, and military personnel.
Now, the kingdom awaits the second batch of doses to arrive via COVAX.
Many are hopeful Morocco will achieve herd immunity. Experts predict a high possibility for herd immunity once Morocco vaccinates 80% of the population (33 million people).
Ramadan will pose new challenges for curbing the spread of COVID-19. However, the Moroccan government extended a night curfew lasting the entirety of Ramadan to try and keep case numbers low.