Tunis/Tunisia — The first coronavirus vaccinations for the benefit of vaccine teams and frontline health workers of the COVID-19 system kicked off on Saturday morning in 25 vaccination centres across the country.
Head of the Intensive Care Ward at the Abderrahman Mami hospital in Ariana Jalila ben Khelil said on the occasion that she had volunteered for the vaccination with a view to encouraging the other health workers and citizens to join the vaccination campaign.
Getting inoculated at the El Menzah sports centre converted into a vaccination centre, she acknowledged that only 537 thousand people have so far registered for vaccination on the e-platform Evax.tn, but this number is likely to rise, she added, as more health workers get vaccinated later on.
Given the number of people who have recovered from the coronavirus, an estimated 60% community immunity can be achieved if Tunisians join the vaccination campaign, she considered.
For his part, head of the Tunis Emergency Medical Assistance Centre (CAMU) Samir Abdelmoumen called on citizens not to be afraid of vaccination to protect themselves and others.
“I expect that all the CAMU staff will volunteer to receive the vaccination,” he said, assuring that the imminent arrival of different batches of vaccines to Tunisia would help overcome the risks of infection.
Several nurses working in the front line to fight the Coronavirus since its outbreak in Tunisia in February 2020, were there to get the shot.
Meherzia Hammami, a nurse at the Bardo basic health care facility, affirmed that she entirely trusts the scientific committee to combat Coronavirus 19 as to the safety of the vaccines.
Meherzia, who has not caught the virus like many of her colleagues, stressed the need to protect oneself against the risks of infection, especially for the elderly and people with chronic diseases.
On the fringes of the vaccination operation, Director of Basic Health Care Ahlam Gzara indicated that within two or three days, 15,000 health workers will be vaccinated with the “Sputnik” vaccine, which had first arrived to Tunisia last Tuesday.
Gzara stated that the 25 regional health centres in each governorate except Medenine, which includes two centres (Medenine and Djerba) have been equipped with cooling equipment with a temperature of -20 degrees to properly preserve the vaccines.
The vaccination campaign targets health workers who have a direct contact with the virus and are registered on the vaccination platform. The elderly will be vaccinated as soon as the next vaccines arrive, she specified.