New postponement of AstraZeneca vaccine delivery to Morocco

New postponement of AstraZeneca vaccine delivery to Morocco
New postponement of AstraZeneca vaccine delivery to Morocco

 The  AstraZeneca vaccine will not arrive this Saturday, January 16 in Morocco.

 The  operation was postponed sine die. We will now have to wait for an official statement “when the Moroccan plane will have loaded and taken off with the vaccines”.

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 The  plane was to take off on Friday afternoon for a return trip to India, where it would take delivery of the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Finally, he did not take the air.

 The  operation has been postponed, Medias24 learns from a reliable source.

According to informed sources, this is not the first postponement, which explains the caution of the Moroccan authorities.

 The  file has been managed from the start by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health.

 The  role of the former was decisive in the conclusion of the two contracts: a contract was signed with AstraZeneca, through the Russian company R-pharm, on September 18, 2020. Another with the Chinese company Sinopharm on August 20, 2020 for the realization in Morocco of a phase 3 clinical trial and the supply of vaccine to Morocco.

On November 9, King Mohammed VI, who follows daily, “hour by hour” according to government sources, the progress of the case and all that concerns the pandemic, had ordered a start of the vaccination “during the next weeks “.

 The  wording was careful and the royal cabinet statement did not even mention the name of the vaccine.

But the hopes of delivery before the end of the year did not materialize:

-First, Morocco has rightly chosen to wait until each of the two vaccines is authorized in its country of origin. It could have granted emergency use authority as other countries have done (Emirates, United Kingdom, Egypt …). He preferred to respect the usual circuit. If he had granted his own emergency authorizations without waiting, voices would have been raised to criticize this decision, that is certain.

-On the other hand, the Sinopharm vaccine was only authorized on December 31.

 The  AstraZeneca vaccine was authorized on December 30 in the United Kingdom, its country of origin.

Morocco continued to prepare in parallel. Quite impressive logistics were put in place and several simulation operations were carried out.

However, the arrival of the vaccine was delayed, without a communication accompanying this delay, neither on the part of the producers, nor on the part of Morocco. Nature abhors a vacuum and silence ignites rumors.

According to informed sources, it was difficult to communicate, as the situation could change at any time and there were (nasty) surprises. Each producer implicitly considers the vaccine to be a diplomatic instrument. He acts in a position of strength. This is not a trivial transaction that falls under the Commercial Code. We are faced with monopoly positions.

In addition, in China, there is a culture of discretion, even secrecy. So far, it is not known why Sinopharm Wuhan’s vaccine, the one that has undergone a phase 3 clinical study in Morocco, has not been authorized.

As the days and weeks passed, new arguments appeared. Two main arguments were put forward by the suppliers:

– delivery to third countries cannot be made before the start of the national vaccination campaign. It started this Saturday, January 16 in India.

– you have to be able to serve other countries and not just Morocco, because both India and China are under strong pressure from third countries to receive the vaccine.

 The  delivery date does not depend on the customer, Morocco, but on the supplier (India or China) in a strong position. Note that Pfizer has just announced that it will not deliver to Europe at the agreed rate for at least the next few weeks; and Johnson & Johnson will likely get their emergency use clearance in February but won’t deliver properly until March.

Morocco has clearly done its utmost to start its vaccination campaign as quickly as possible; but it does not depend only on him.

As a reliable source tells us: there will be no official announcement concerning the arrival of the vaccine until the Moroccan plane has taken off from the supplier country with the containers on board.

Gh. And.

January 16, 2021 at

Modified January 16, 2021 at 16:39

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