King Mohammed VI launches the production of vaccines “made in Morocco”


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“This project will allow us to produce the Covid vaccine, along with other key vaccines, in our own country so that the kingdom can become self-sufficient and a leading biotechnology platform on the continent and globally, within the limits filling and finishing. industry, ”said the royal cabinet statement, which was released on the evening of July 6.

Health sovereignty

It also aims to “provide the kingdom with complete and integrated industrial and biotechnological capacities, which will be dedicated to the manufacture of vaccines in Morocco”. The document specifies that it is a question of reinforcing the “health sovereignty” of the country in the face of “external dependencies and political contingencies”.

During this ceremony – attended by, among others, Prime Minister Saaddine El Othmani, Royal Advisor Fouad Ali El Himma, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, CEO of Attijariwafa Bank Mohamed Kettani and Banque PopulaireCEO of Mohamed Karim Mounir – several memoranda have been signed. The first was a cooperation agreement between the kingdom and the Chinese pharmaceutical group Sinopharm.

This public-private partnership began after a telephone conversation between King Mohammed VI and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Morocco will soon begin production – no date has yet been specified – of 5 million doses of Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine per month. It is expected that this capacity will increase gradually over the medium term.

Collaboration with Sothema

The overall investment will represent $ 500 million, according to an agreement signed on July 5 by Mohamed Benchaâboune, the Minister of the Economy and Finance, the CEO of Recipharm Marc Funk and the billionaire Othman Benjelloun, the representative of the consortium of Moroccan banks. . The objective of the project is to establish vaccine manufacturing capacities in Morocco under the best possible conditions and to develop what appears to be a giant of the Sino-Moroccan pharmaceutical industry.

Finally, a contract allowing the use of the filling facilities of the Moroccan pharmaceutical laboratory Sothema to produce Covid-19 vaccines belonging to the Chinese company Sinopharm was signed by Lamia Tazi, its CEO, and Khalid Ait Taleb, the Minister of Health . The company participated in the Phase III clinical trials of Sinopharm in Morocco.

Since the start of its vaccination campaign at the end of January, Morocco, which has a population of 36 million, has vaccinated more than 10 million people, of which 9.1 million have already received the two required injections.

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