Iraq to receive new shipment of COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX

215,000 vaccinated across Iraq
Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the holy month of Ramadan at a mosque in the city of Nasiriyah in Iraq's southern Dhi Qar province on April 18, 2021. Asaad NIAZI / AFP

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SULAIMANI — Iraqi officials are preparing to receive more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine over the next month, most of which will be the AstraZeneca vaccine supplied through the COVAX facility.

Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi told the state-run al-Sabah newspaper on Sunday (April 18) that the country is also receiving weekly shipments of the Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccines.

He said that hundreds of people are visiting vaccination centers each day to get the jab, and in doing so protecting themselves and their communities.

“The number of vaccinated people has exceeded 215,000 citizens,” he said.

Director of Public Health Riyadh Abdul Amir said that the ministry is looking to double Iraq’s contract with Pfizer from 3 million doses to 6 million.

Baghdad received an initial 49,000 doses of the US-produced vaccine on April 11 and a second shipment on Sunday.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Health Saman Barzinji said in a post on Facebook that “this week, there has been a six-fold increase in registrations and visits by citizens” to vaccination centers compared with the previous week.

He added that the Region has used up 85 percent of the more than 55, 000 doses it has received from the federal government, with no dangerous or unusual side effects recorded.

In areas controlled by the federal government, the Ministry of Interior will bar unvaccinated people from entering its departments starting on Wednesday.

(NRT Digital Media)