TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisia on Saturday launched a vaccination campaign against the coronavirus pandemic, days after receiving the first batch of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

Tunisia received 30,000 doses of the Russian vaccine on Wednesday. The batch was part of a shipment of 500,000 doses the North African country is scheduled to get from Sputnik V.

Nurse Mehreziya al-Humami, 54, at El-Menzeh Hospital in the capital Tunis took the first shot.

“Inoculating the medical staff is a recognition of our efforts in combating the virus,” al-Humami told Anadolu Agency.

The Tunisian Health Ministry said health workers and elders will be the first to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Tunisia will get 137,000 doses of the British AstraZeneca next week and 94,600 doses of the US-German Pfizer-BioNTech by the end of the month as part of the global COVAX program aimed at providing vaccines to developing countries.

Tunisia aims to vaccinate 50 percent of its 11-million population in the upcoming period.

The North African country has so far confirmed 240,617 virus infections, including 8,329 fatalities.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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