Vaccination against Covid-19 will be open to all adults in Tunisia this Tuesday and Wednesday, religious holidays, announced the Tunisian Minister of Health while private clinics are requisitioned to support the overflowing hospitals.
Tunisia, whose vaccine stocks remained limited until recently, has fully vaccinated only 913,000 people, or about 8% of its population, a rate that remains among the highest in Africa. In response to the health catastrophe in the country, which is experiencing a resurgence of cases, Tunis has received donations and pledges of several million doses of vaccine in recent days.
“We have decided to organize open days for vaccination on Tuesday and Wednesday in 29 centers for all residents over 18 years,” announced Health Minister Faouzi Mehdi at a press conference.
These vaccination days coincide with the Eid al-Adha, a major Muslim holiday during which families gather.
Influx of patients
Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines will be administered, the latter being reserved for those over 45 years of age. For several weeks, hospitals in Tunisia have been overwhelmed by a large influx of patients in the midst of a new wave of Covid-19 spread, which is reaching unprecedented levels.
The country of 12 million people recorded an average of 145 deaths per day over the past week. Since the start of the pandemic, some 16,500 deaths have been officially recorded.
In recent days, public hospitals have been sounding the alarm about the lack of oxygen and there have been worrying shortages in some wards.
The head of government, Hichem Mechichi, announced Saturday that he requisitioned the private sector clinics in several affected areas, including Tunis and resorts in the east of the country such as Sousse, Monastir or Nabeul.
The Minister of Health, indicated that the consumption of oxygen in the country had increased from 25,000 liters per day in normal times to 230,000 liters currently. Mechichi denied any death related to a lack of oxygen. “We are holding up,” he stressed.