Iraq launches nationwide vaccination campaign

An Iraqi man is vaccinated by coronavirus vaccine donated by China in Baghdad, February 2, 2021.

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq has launched a national coronavirus mass vaccination campaign, targeting more than 12 million people with children 12 years old and above, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO said the campaign launched in partnership with the Iraqi health ministry would last until December 31.

The WHO added that it would give momentum to the vaccine rollout process in Iraq to reach up to 40% vaccination coverage rate among the general population by end of this year.

“COVID-19 continues to be the biggest challenge of our time and we must all unite to overcome this devastating public health threat as no one is safe until are all safe,” WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Iraq Ahmed Zouiten said.

“WHO and the Ministry of Health in Iraq raised the challenge to vaccinate the maximum number of people possible to control the COVID19 Pandemic as soon as possible, under the theme of ‘COVID19 Vaccine is a gateway to a normal life’,” he added.

More than 100 external mass vaccination sites were opened in 18 governorates based on the demographic situation, health indicators and capacity of each province, the WHO said.

The vaccine rollout process in Iraq started in March accessing 15.1% of the total population with the first dose and 9% with the two doses as of November 6, according to the WHO.

As of Monday, more than 6 million people had been vaccinated across the country, the Iraqi health ministry’s figures showed.

The mass vaccination campaign has also started in the Kurdistan Region since November 4.

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