Iraq signs agreement with Russia to receive Sputnik V vaccine

A medical specialist holds a vial of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in a department store in Moscow, Russia, January 18, 2021. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq said on Thursday it had signed an agreement with Russia to import 1 million doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, as the country is struggling to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Iraqi minister of oil Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said the country expected the vaccine shipment to be delivered to Baghdad within two weeks, according to Reuters.

Abdul Jabbar signed the deal with Russia, according to a statement by the Iraqi oil ministry.

On Thursday, Iraq received its first 50,000 doses of the Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine as a donation from China. Inoculations started the same day for healthcare workers, elderly people and members of the security forces first.

Sinopharm Group is to supply Iraq with around 2 million doses of the vaccine in stages, according to Reuters. Iraq also has agreements to receive vaccines from AstraZeneca Plc and Pfizer.

Iraq recorded a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections last month, and has reported cases of one of the variants of the novel coronavirus.

The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Iraq is around 714,000, including 13,507 deaths as of March 4.

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