Tunisia tries to accelerate vaccine drive

AP , Sunday 8 Aug 2021

Over the past weeks, several millions of doses have been delivered to Tunisia from other nations including the United States, France and Italy

Tunisia has launched its largest COVID-19 vaccination campaign as the country faces a surge of cases.

Authorities aim to vaccinate over 1 million of people aged 40 and over in only one day, compared with 30,000 to 60,000 a day previously.

In a televised address Sunday, President Kaïs Saied called on people to get the shot “so that life gets back to normal in Tunisia.”

Authorities provided free buses for people going to vaccination centers, many set up in schools.

Over the past weeks, several millions of doses have been delivered to Tunisia from other nations including the United States, France and Italy.

The director of the Pasteur Institute of Tunis, Hachemi Louzir, who is leading the campaign, said Tunisia is to receive more than 8 million of doses by September and hopes to be able to vaccinate about 50% of the population.

Tunisia, with a population of 12 million, has reported more deaths per capita in the pandemic than any African country. More than 20,000 Tunisians have died from the virus. So far 9% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

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