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COVID: Alarmed by neighboring Tunisia, Libya scrambles to vaccinate

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Yousef Murad/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


People lined up outside a Covid-19 vaccination center in Tripoli as cases of the disease began to climb in the country.

Libya kicked off its vaccination campaign in April after delays caused by the presence of rival administrations.

With neighboring Tunisia seeing infections that have caused the collapse of its health system, concern has grown in Libya.

"Today we came to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, due to the increase in the number of cases," said Mohammad Al-Sadiq, 26, a resident of Tripoli. 

At vaccination sites, people register personal information before getting the jab. Libya has received vaccines from China, Russia, Turkey, and the COVAX initiative. 

The country of seven million people has received about 400,000 doses so far.

"The vaccination campaign within the Tripoli municipality targets all segments of society, from Libyans to foreigners, including the elderly and the young people over the age of 18 years," said Dr. Rawad Bahilil, the vaccination supervisor for Tripoli. 

Years of conflict in the North African country have destroyed critical health infrastructure. 

Libya has so far recorded 230,000 cases, with 28,000 of those coming between July 11-24th.

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