RABAT, December 31. /TASS/. Algeria will use the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine when it will launch mass vaccination of its population scheduled for January 2021, TSA news portal reports, citing the decision made by the Algerian government following a meeting on Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad.
"The Algerian health minister has announced the signing of an agreement with a Russian laboratory to purchase the coronavirus vaccine to start vaccination in January," spokesperson for the cabinet Ammar Belhimer noted. According to him, the Pasteur Institute of Algeria "carried out consultations with the Russian producer of the Sputnik V vaccine, while simultaneously continuing consultations with other foreign parties."
On December 20, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune instructed Djerad to pick a vaccine to launch mass vaccination already in January.
On December 14, Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform Abderrahmane Benbouzid revealed that vaccination against COVID-19 would definitely be free of charge for all categories of citizens. He also highlighted that Algeria would be cautious in choosing the vaccine to use.
On August 11, Russia became the first country in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine named Sputnik V, which was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry. The jab passed clinical trials in June-July. The post-registration trials of Sputnik V began in Moscow on September 7, volunteers received the first vaccine already on September 9.