Tunisia receives first batch of coronavirus vaccines

Tunisia has received its first batch of coronavirus vaccines

The North African country's vaccination program has dragged behind its neighbors, even as virus infections and hospitalizations have remained high.

The first deliveries came from Russia aboard an Air France plane and were ceremoniously received by the health minister. Vaccinations are scheduled to start with health care workers, soldiers and security officers, people over 65 and people with chronic health problems.

The Chinese vaccines include 200,000 donated doses, Louzir said, while the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are coming via the global COVAX program aimed at supplying vaccines to developing countries that might otherwise struggle to afford them.

Despite the delays, Tunisia is hoping to vaccinate 50% of its population of 12 million by the end of the year.

Tunisia has reported more than 238,000 virus cases and 8,225 lives lost, one of the highest official virus death tolls in Africa.

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