Algeria has commenced the production of Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese firm Sinovac, with a target of about eight million doses monthly.
Prime Minister Aimene Benabderrahmane, while attending the launch of the production process at a factory in the eastern city of Constantine, called the effort a “big achievement”.
Algeria’s minister for the pharmaceutical industry, Lotfi Djamel Benbahmed said Algeria aims to achieve other projects of this kind and production could be doubled if needed.
He further stated that the country plans to export the vaccines as the firm making the jabs, was so far the only African company to be licenced to produce the jab.
Following a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases in past months, Algeria has seen a drop in recent weeks. In June, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunisation issued interim recommendations for the use of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine against COVID-19.
Benbahmed had stated on National Radio Algeria in July that producing the vaccines locally will save Algeria $5 per dose and $250m when the North African nation has to produce 50 million doses of the vaccines.
Algeria had earlier this month announced a campaign to vaccinate about 70 percent of its 44 million population by the end of the year.
In a similar vein, Egypt will start producing the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac this week. The projected production of Sinovac in Algeria:
– 1 million doses in October 2021
– 2 million doses in November 2021
– 3 million doses in December 2021
– 5.3 million doses in January 2022
Annual production in 2022 is expected to exceed 65 million doses. The manufacturing of CoronaVac came following contracts signed last May between the two countries and the Chinese Sinopharm.