Libya misses the first chance at Covid-19 vaccine due to committee incompetence

WHO announced this week that Libya has failed to deliver the required documents by the deadline assigned by the COVAX initiative

The missed deadline will likely cause a delay in the delivery of vaccines to Libya in an already dire Coronavirus situation. [Photo: Libyan Express]
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this week that Libya missed out on the first round of COVAX vaccines due to missing the deadline of submission on the required documents.

In a statement, WHO said that Libya also continues to face an acute shortage of medical supplies, particularly gloves and masks and arranged for the required equipment to be shipped out to the oil-rich country as soon as possible.

The statement also added a request from the international organization for Libya to consider covering the costs of vaccinating the over half-million migrants and refugees in the country.

WHO also endorsed the outgoing Government of National Accord’s (GNA) national vaccination plan and urged concerned parties to expedite the process as numbers in Libya continue to rise day by day.

Recently, the GNA issued a decree officially authorizing the ministry of health to directly obtain vaccines from the four leading manufacturers at Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Libya’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) launched an online Covid-19 registration website in preparation for the arrival of the country’s first vaccine batches.

Libya is expected to receive 12 million doses in total, for the vaccination of its entire population, the first shipment of 1 million doses consisting of 55,000 of the Pfizer vaccine, and more than 900,000 of Oxford’s AstraZeneca vaccines were initially expected to arrive sometime in the upcoming weeks.

The 1 million expected doses will be enough to vaccinate at least 500,000 Libyans with priority going to medical health professionals, people over 60-year-old and those with preexisting conditions that put them at a higher risk for the virus.

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