Kurdistan to receive first doses of China’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday: minister

File – Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Health Saman Barzinji speaks to reporters in Erbil

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Region will receive its first batch of coronavirus vaccine doses in a shipment on Monday, the minister of health said on Sunday.

Minister Saman Barzinji told reporters that the Region would receive 5,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine on Monday night.

“Nearly 4,000 doses will be given to healthcare workers and another part will be given to Chinese people at the request of China’s consulate,” the Kurdish minister said.

“People should know masks and social distancing as well as self-protection are alternatives for vaccine,” Barzinji added.

Iraq is supposed to get 50,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine on Sunday, along with 3.4 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine through the COVAX facility and 1.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine.

On Saturday night, an Iraqi Air Force plane was loaded with supplies of the Sinopharm vaccine at Beijing International Airport.

Iraq recorded 3,248 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, with 23 deaths and 2,933 recoveries, according to the health ministry.

As many as 695,489 people have been infected with the virus as of Sunday, of which 13,406 died and 635,931 recovered, the ministry’s figures showed.

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