Morocco has been able to have access to the doses of vaccine needed to protect its population against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), said Dr. Moncef Slaoui, referring to the vaccination strategy of the Kingdom with regard to the choice of vaccines adopted by the Scientific Committee.
“It seems to me that the most urgent thing was to choose the path that would allow access to the vaccine doses as quickly as possible. Morocco has been able to have access to the doses of vaccine needed to protect its population. I could see that last February, Morocco was well placed in terms of vaccine penetration,” he said in an exclusive interview with “BM Magazine”.
The Moroccan expert, who was speaking in his first media appearance after the exceptional and historic success of the “Warp Speed” mission entrusted to him by the outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump to find an anti-Covid vaccine in record time, expressed his willingness to help the Kingdom to the extent of his capabilities and what he can bring to the country.
“The areas in which I am experienced and successful are areas of very high technology, so research and development and business requiring a very complex and high level of technicality,” he said.
“For example, if I were to collaborate in the area of sterile vaccine filling, my value added would not be significant and would not have a meaningful contribution. However, if I were asked to help train high-level technicians who could manufacture the vaccine, the product itself, then yes! I would be ready to do it”, said Professor Slaoui.
He noted that “this requires a very advanced complexity and technicality and it is something that would benefit Morocco very significantly. It would be a first step towards acquiring knowledge and technicians who could then not only develop the vaccine, but make discoveries in other countries and lead to research”.
In this regard, he stressed that this kind of project interests him. “These are projects in which I can make my contribution and which could be spread over the medium and long term, even one or two decades, by intervening directly through my expertise or by encouraging all my relations and my network in the academic field and research centers to participate in the project,” he explained.
“I am totally willing to help if the request corresponds to an area where I can add value and where there would be no political interference or excessive bureaucracy,” the immunologist said.
In addition, Dr. Slaoui noted that Morocco has made significant progress in recent decades.
“There is some progress (infrastructure …) that can be seen in different cities. But if we consider the doubling of the population, there are also needs that are even greater and more difficult to satisfy,” he noted, estimating that there are also great efforts to be made in the public health and education sectors.
Regarding his collaboration with the U.S. administration on Operation Warp Speed, the researcher said the experience is marked by two stages: the first is a “learning in politics” in that there was such deep and visceral opposition to the Trump administration from Democrats and much of the public that it was inconceivable for them to recognize that many things from the Trump administration had been a success as is the case with Operation Warp Speed, which he said found, in just one year, a vaccine to halt a virus that stopped the world’s affairs.
The second step, he added, is “personal,” lamenting the fact that he was attacked during his mission when he had agreed to drop everything he was doing to try to save the world.
“This adventure has been extraordinary but its ending disappointing,” he said. “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t think for a moment. I would do it again! The most important thing is to put my expertise and my energy at the disposal of the world to try to solve this absolutely unprecedented pandemic,” he insisted.
He pointed out that he retired from public life “with the intention of returning in a very strong and clear way”.
Dr. Slaoui also spoke of his social and humanitarian nature, which led him to give up everything for the “Warp Speed” Operation, whose main goal was to save the world.
“I’ve always wanted to help people. It is a central element in my life and career. I would also be interested in social and humanitarian work in my home country that matches my skills,” he concluded