Iraq committed $170 million to secure COVID-19 vaccine, says WHO

File – An Iraqi medical worker checks temperature of a woman in Baghdad amid the coronavirus outbreak (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The World Health Organization (WHO) said Iraq had committed $170 million to secure a COVID-19 vaccine when one is approved for distribution.

The WHO said in a fact sheet on Twitter that Iraq is among the first countries to benefit from a coronavirus vaccine due to its contribution to COVAX.

COVAX is a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure the eventual COVID-19 vaccines reach those countries in greatest need.

“Iraq is among the countries that is participating in COVAX,” the WHO said on Friday. “The country has committed $170 million towards this effort, and is among the first countries to benefit from the vaccine.”

On October 25, Iraqi health minister Hassan al-Tamimi told al-Sabah newspaper that the ministry had prioritized four categories of people to receive the coronavirus vaccine when one is approved by the WHO.

The groups include people over 50 years old, healthcare workers, members of the security forces, and people with chronic disease.

Drugmakers and research centers around the world are working on COVID-19 vaccines, with large global trials of several of the candidates involving tens of thousands of participants well underway.

Nine experimental vaccines are in the pipeline of the WHO’s COVAX global vaccine facility that aims to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on October 6 that a vaccine against COVID-19 may be ready by year-end.

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