Iraq prioritizes four categories of people to receive COVID-19 vaccine

A medical workers prepares to take a swab from a woman being tested for COVID-19 in Basra on June 2, 2020. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iraqi health minister said it has prioritized four categories of people to receive coronavirus vaccine once approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Minister Hassan al-Tamimi told al-Sabah newspaper that the groups include people over 50 years old, healthcare workers, members of the security forces, and people with chronic disease.

Iraq had recorded 449,153 cases of the novel coronavirus as of Saturday, of which 10,568 had died and 378,209 had recovered, according to the Iraqi health ministry’s figures.

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.

“We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope,” Tedros said.

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