Tunisian President takes first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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Tunisia's President Kais Saied holds at a past function in Tunis, Tunisia, October 13, 2019. /VCG Photo
FILE PHOTO: Tunisia’s President Kais Saied holds at a past function in Tunis, Tunisia, October 13, 2019. /VCG Photo

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Monday received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as authorities continue national vaccination efforts to contain further spread of the virus.

Pictures published on social media by the Tunisian presidency showed the 63-year-old taking the jab at the Mnihla vaccination center in Tunis. It did not say which vaccine the president took.

The North African country is battling a fresh wave of infections and has reported record high daily death tolls since the pandemic began, putting its health care system under severe stress and depleting oxygen supplies.

The international community has since last week joined Tunisia in its fight against the pandemic. Egypt and Qatar last week sent military aircrafts with batches of medical equipment to support Tunisian efforts against COVID-19, while Libya and Saudi Arabia have also pledged to send medical supplies.

By Monday, Tunisia had reported 497,613 COVID-19 infections, the third highest tally in Africa. Its death toll of 16,388 is also the third-highest on the continent.

Data released over the weekend showed that over 715,000 people have been fully vaccinated from the virus out of a total of 11.6 million residents.

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