Monaco will take delivery of 5,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine by the end of this week, Minister of Health and Social Affairs Didier Gamerdinger said on Wednesday.

The shipment will enable the Principality to accelerate the vaccination programme which has suffered from a serious slowdown in recent weeks. Over the two weeks from February 18 to March 4, only 624 residents received jabs. The Grimaldi Forum has been set up to vaccinate 600 people every day.

The total number of people in Monaco who have received vaccinations stands at 8,534, and out of that total 7,359 have had the second jab.

A further boost to the vaccination programme will come at the end of March, when 7,200 doses are due to arrive from AstraZeneca through the Covax scheme.

Minister Gamerdinger said on Wednesday that 70 percent of over-75s have received a jab. Monaco is sticking to Pfizer’s original advice that the second dose should follow in three weeks, although studies elsewhere have shown considerable efficacy for both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines following a first dose.

Monaco has also pre-ordered 20,000 doses from Moderna.

The Minister added that 80 percent of doctors at CHPG and a little less than half the staff have been vaccinated. Sixty percent of doctors and nurses practicing in the Principality have also been jabbed.

In the wider population, it will soon be the turn of residents between the ages of 60 and 64. When all residents have taken up the offer of a jab, the programme will be extended to employees.

FILE PHOTO: The AstraZeneca jab, the English variant of the vaccine developed in Oxford Reuters