Algeria in partnership with Chinese firm Sinovac has begun the production of covid-19 vaccines, with production expected to be eight million doses a month and 96 million doses each year thereafter.
The production line was inaugurated at a ceremony attended by Algerian Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane and Chinese Ambassador to Algeria Li Lianhe, at the joint venture between China’s biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech and Algeria’s pharmaceutical group Saidal.
In his opening remarks, Benabderrahmane said that this production line is likely to pave the way for producing other vaccines shortly.
“This unit will enhance Algeria’s vaccine self-sufficiency and health security,” he noted.
“Algeria aims to achieve other projects of this kind,” Benabderrahmane said, praising the country’s pharmaceutical industry.
Lotfi Djamel Benbahmed, Algeria’s minister for the pharmaceutical industry, has said the country plans to export the vaccines.
According to Benbahmed, the firm making the vaccine was so far the only African company to be licenced to produce the jab.
For his part, the Chinese ambassador hailed the completion of this project as “a milestone in the history of cooperation between China and Algeria, which share distinguished historical friendship and convergent views on many issues.”
Li noted that “the two countries’ goals for development are similar, as they have exchanged support for each other during the past decades.”
Algeria, the biggest African nation by size, announced this month a campaign to vaccinate some 70 percent of its 44 million population by the end of the year.