Conflict-hit Libya launches coronavirus jab campaign

Libyan Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah receives his vaccination against coronavirus. AFP/Mahmud Turkia

TRIPOLI - Libya officially launched its coronavirus vaccination campaign on Saturday, starting with Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah, health authorities in the conflict-hit nation said.

"The national vaccination campaign against COVID-19 has been launched at the CDC headquarters" on Tripoli's outskirts, said Badreddine al-Najjar, head of Libya's Centre for Disease Control.

After the vaccination of Dbeibah, who heads a newly-established Government of National Unity, Health Minister Ali al-Zenati was next to receive a jab, an AFP journalist said.

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Dbeibah urged fellow citizens to register online for their own vaccinations.

He has earmarked the country's jab campaign as a policy priority, alleging vaccine delivery was hindered by outgoing authorities.

"The arrival of vaccines has been delayed by political, not financial, considerations," he said.

The World Health Organization said that two new variants of the coronavirus are present in Libya.

Officially, Libya has registered a total of around 167,000 coronavirus cases, including over 2,800 deaths, out of a population of seven million.


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