Tunisia, a country of about 12 million people in population, has so far received only 1.6 million Covid-19 doses out of the 2.5 million budgeted to come from WHO-led COVAX initiative.
The Prime Minister of Tunisia, Hichem Mechichi, appealed to WHO yesterday during a meeting in Geneva to boost vaccine provisions in order to accelerate the vaccination rollout in the country as a means of reviving its economy.
“We need to move up the timeframe for receiving (vaccines). We can not accept the deadlines of October and November. We insisted on the fact that our health system is a pride.
“We have experience in the field of immunization and great logistics in immunization, but we can no longer bear this pressure (of the lack of vaccine),” Mechichi said.
The Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, responded cooperatively saying:
“Tunisia is proposing to partner with WHO to start local production (of vaccines. We have agreed for our teams to work together and whenever the Prime Minister is ready, we can send a team to Tunisia that specialises experts on local production to help Tunisia.”
“There is a problem of equity (in access to) vaccines at the global level. Those who could share are not doing so,” said Dr Tedros, who called on G7 countries to donate 100 million doses to countries of less financial means in the next two months.”
As a result of Tunisia’s agreement with WHO, Tunis, the country’s capital, would be receiving 100,000 new doses by the end of July and another 500,000 in the coming months.
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.