U.S.-led Coalition says it is not providing vaccines to Peshmerga ‘at this time’

Peshmerga military vehicles are seen during a battle with Islamic State militants at Jarbuah village near Bashiqa near Mosul, Iraq October 28, 2016. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — U.S.-led Coalition Forces said on Thursday that it was not providing coronavirus vaccines to the Peshmerga Forces “at this time”. 

Several media outlets in the Kurdistan Region reported that the United States would donate Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the Peshmerga forces.

“At this time CJTF-OIR is not providing COVID-19 vaccines to the Peshmerga Forces and is vaccinating OIR personnel who volunteer as a priority,” the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve told Esta Media Network.

On Sunday, the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga said reports of vaccine provision by the United States to the Peshmerga forces were “baseless”.

“We have asked the Coalition forces to provide vaccines to our forces, but the demand has not been met yet,” director of Peshmerga ministry’s health affairs Rizgar Ali said in a statement.

The Coalition forces said the U.S. Central Command Surgeon works closely with component command surgeons to prioritize vaccination at distribution points.

“There are a variety of factors, based upon the supply available that affects prioritization,” the CJTF-OIR told Esta Media Network.

“When conditions allow, we expect vaccination of a portion of the remaining eligible and willing participants, which includes members of partners forces stationed on DoD installations or within proximity of U.S. military forces in accordance with the DoD policies and prioritization schema.”

Peshmerga Ministry’s Deputy Chief-of-Staff Major General Qaraman Kamal told Esta Media Network that the ministry had distributed forms over members of the Peshmerga forces who voluntarily want to be vaccinated.

As of Wednesday, the Kurdistan Region had recorded 142,746 coronavirus cases, including 3,911 deaths, according to the Region’s health ministry.

There is no official figure about infections of the Peshmerga forces with COVID-19.

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