Covid-19 / Vaccine: clinical trials in Morocco are encouraging, experts say

As 2021 approaches, great relief looms on the horizon, as many countries have reached advanced stages in conducting clinical trials and others have already started placing orders for clinical trials. the doses capable of putting an end to this global epidemic crisis.

Morocco, where the number of cases has exceeded 5,000 per day in recent weeks, has taken a bold step, thanks to the proactive royal initiative, by appearing among the first countries to stock up on vaccine and meet its needs, according to a vaccination strategy that will be gradually generalized on a large scale, giving priority to front-line staff.

In this context, Professor Marhoum El Filali Kamal, head of the infectious diseases department at the Ibn Rochd University Hospital in Casablanca, affirmed that the preliminary results of clinical trials, which involved 200 volunteers at the military and university hospitals in Rabat, raise hope and satisfaction, since they did not leave, at the beginning, serious side effects, with the exception of a few ordinary effects accompanying any vaccine, such as a rise in temperature, headaches or stiffness.

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Regarding the support of volunteers, who received the vaccine in two injections, between September 8 and November 12, the professor noted that the clinical studies protocol will continue for a period of one year, after 49 days of the first vaccine, and that doctors will follow up on cases of people vaccinated, once a week, for 6 months, and then once a month for the remaining 6 months.

Pending an objective and scientific evaluation to confirm the efficacy, safety and quality of the vaccine, he did not fail to assure that the situation is encouraging and that the delivery is very close.

The professor nevertheless insisted on the need to continue to respect all the preventive measures in force, namely the compulsory wearing of the mask, hygiene, disinfection and physical distancing, at a time when the possible return containment, despite its effectiveness, remains unlikely, given the disastrous repercussions that ensue.

For the success of this operation, the Ibn Rochd University Hospital has mobilized for this humanitarian action, a large staff composed of 7 doctors, 6 specialists in infectious diseases and a pulmonologist, as well as 7 employees in an analysis laboratory, 4 nurses, a pharmacist and his assistant, he said, noting that logistically, there are several rooms dedicated to sensitization, vaccination, analyzes and others to resuscitation, in addition to waiting rooms and meetings.

In a similar statement, pharmacologist Abdelhafid Oulaâlou, specialist in biological and infectious sciences, stressed, for his part, that Morocco, which is a pioneering model at the regional and international levels, in its fight against this health crisis, since l The announcement of the first positive case last March is capable of meeting this challenge, through the upcoming launch of an intense vaccination campaign against Covid-19.

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He recalled that all the parties concerned are called upon to get fully involved and to mobilize to make this major national project a success, like the vaccination campaign for children launched in 1986, which has so far concerned 95 pc. of them to protect them against 6 types of contagious diseases.

In the absence of a drug against this virus, Dr. Oulaâlou called to trust the health system and the vaccine and to put aside the rumors circulating on this subject, noting that Morocco, with its skills and its experience in this area is capable of moving forward to generalize the vaccine throughout the country.

The partnership between Morocco and China, based on the win-win principle, will also help, according to him, to promote scientific research, expressing the wish that Morocco will be among the first countries to receive sufficient doses to vaccinate the most vulnerable people. more vulnerable, while waiting for it to be able to produce it, notably through the Institut Pasteur in Casablanca.

The objective of this vaccine experiment, he continued, is to obtain convincing results allowing biological protection of the vaccinated person and developing their immune system against this virus.

He recalled that the vaccine has demonstrated, for decades, its effectiveness in the fight against several diseases, calling for confidence in science and modern medicine and to respond positively to this next campaign, because Morocco is able to give the best example, in accordance with the royal vision and the goodwill of all sections of society.

Record numbers of positive cases

The reproduction rate of Covid-19 has reached 1.22 nationally, said the coordinator of the National Center for Public Health Emergency Operations at the Ministry of Health, Mouad Mrabet.

In a recent presentation of the bimonthly report on the epidemiological situation, he stressed that the development of the reproduction rate was explained by the significant increase in the number of cases contaminated by the new coronavirus at the national level, and that every day figures Records of positive cases are recorded, with a cumulative incidence rate of 715.8 / 100,000 inhabitants.

On a continental and planetary scale, Morocco ranks 32nd in the world and 2nd in Africa, in terms of the number of contaminations, 36th globally and 3rd in Africa in terms of the number of deaths.

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