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Tunisia delegation in Switzerland to speed up delivery of covid vaccines

Tunisians working in the tourism industry receive a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine on June 4, 2021 in Tunis [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Tunisians working in the tourism industry receive a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine on June 4, 2021 in Tunis [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The delivery of covid vaccines through the COVAX initiative will top the agenda of the Tunisian delegation's visit to Switzerland, a source said yesterday.

The source told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) that at the forefront of the prime minister's priorities during his upcoming visit to Switzerland will be to request speeding up the delivery of more shots as part of Tunisia's share of vaccines provided by COVAX, which has been launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help poor countries tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Tunisian PM Hichem Mechichi will hold a meeting with the head of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to discuss the issue, in addition to sitting with representatives of other international organisations in order to seek support for his country's crippled economy and collapsing tourism sector.

READ: Tunisia hails Algerian support during Covid-19 crisis

Despite launching the vaccination campaign on 13 March, Tunisia is facing a severe shortage of shots. Until two days ago, only 1.1 million Tunisian citizens had received the first dose of the vaccine while 337,814 had received both.

The government hopes to vaccinate half of the country's population – 5.5 million people – by the end of the year, however, the lack of supply may make it difficult to achieve this objective.

Head of the vaccination campaign, Hashemi Louzir, said on Friday that Tunisia had received only 600,000 of the 4.3 million doses allocated to it.

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AfricaCoronavirusEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsNewsSwitzerlandTunisiaWHO
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