US to send Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Peshmerga Joint Brigades: health official

Will not be available to public
COVID-19 vaccination center at Erbil's Rizgari hospital (File)

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SULAIMANI — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Minister of Health Rahel Faraidun said on Friday (April 17) that the US is expected to send 31,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to the Kurdistan Region, which will be used to vaccinate members of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs’ Joint Brigades.

Faraidun told a media outlet affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) that each member will receive the US-produced, one-shot vaccine, which will not be publicly available.

The Kurdistan Region has received shares of the shipments of the Pfizer, Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines that have arrived in Iraq so far, which are publicly available for Iraqi nationals and displaced persons who register online.

There are fourteen brigades of Peshmerga under the control of the ministry. They are ostensibly apolitical, while the other Peshmerga units are affiliated with either the PUK or the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

The joint brigades were formed as part of the internationally-supported Peshmerga reform process. The US provides stipends to pay their salaries.

(NRT Digital Media)