Algeria has received 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from longstanding ally China, the official APS news agency said Thursday, boosting the North African nation’s fight against Covid-19.
China’s ambassador to Algiers, Li Lianhe, had said last week that Beijing would gift Algeria 200,000 vaccines.
The delivery arrived late Wednesday at the Boufarik military airport west of the capital Algiers, APS reported, citing Communications Minister Ammar Belhimer.
“There will be further deliveries of anti-Covid-19 vaccines until the country’s needs are fully met,” Belhimer added, noting that the drive would be complete by the end of the year.
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Algeria and China are close allies, and when the pandemic started Beijing sent medical teams to help.
China has been forging strong ties across Africa through its vaccine donations, including to Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe.
Algeria launched its vaccination campaign in January with a first shipment of 50,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V, and has since received 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
By the end of February Algeria is due to receive up to 800,000 vaccines through the international Covax scheme, according to health officials.
The health ministry says that more than 112,000 coronavirus cases, including nearly 3,000 deaths, have officially been recorded since the pandemic began.