First COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Libya
As of 5 May, the National Center for Disease Control is reporting that there are 179,193 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Libya, including 3,059 deaths, and 10,630 active cases. While the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, the national vaccination campaign against the Coronavirus continued to be rolled out across Libya in April. According to the authorities, the campaign has kicked off in a number of municipalities, including Ghadames, Alkufra, Sebha, Ajdabiya, Marj, Sabratha, Jadu, Bani Walid, Sirte, Abu Salim and Janzour. The first stage of the campaign targets elderly people, those suffering from chronic diseases and medical personnel. As of 29 April 2021, Libya administered 61,000 vaccine doses.
The national COVID-19 vaccination campaign started on 10 April led by the Prime Minister. A total of 426 vaccination sites were established across the country with 107 municipality vaccine supervisors, 1,450 vaccinators and 355 medical doctors having been trained on field implementation, vaccine safety and Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) management.
Libya received its first COVID-19 vaccines in April. A total of 57,600 doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine (procured through the COVAX Facility) arrived on 8 April 2021 while 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine arrived on 4 and 9 April 2021. In addition, 150,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived on 14 April 2021.
WHO followed up on the necessity of including migrants and refugees into the COVID-19 vaccination deployment. WHO was informed that refugees and migrants residing in Libya would be entitled to the COVID-19 vaccine under the same criteria as for the Libyan population. An electronic registration system for refugees and migrants is presently under development. The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) requested UN support to prepare an annex to the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan targeting these vulnerable groups, on which UNICEF is working.