19.5 C
New York
12.5 C
London
37.4 C
Dubai
20.4 C
Tokyo
Saturday, May 15, 2021

Re: WHO preparing to deliver vaccines across Syria from April despite conflict

The World Heath Organization is deploying teams across Syria for a vaccination programme that will be rolled out both in government-held areas and territory outside state control, perhaps as soon as April, it said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

- Advertisement -

Dr Akjemal Magtymova, WHO representative in Damascus, said the body’s COVAX programme plans to immunize 5 million Syrians — 20% of the population across all parts of the country — despite the conflict now entering its 11th year.

“We are preparing our vaccine deployment plan with the ministry of health to make sure the programme goes well,” Magtymova said, adding the priority was first to vaccinate high risk health workers, social workers and the most vulnerable.

Most Syrians live in areas now under government control, but rebels still control areas in the northwest and a Kurdish-led administration controls much of the northeast. Around a quarter of the population inside Syria is displaced, many in camps.

The GAVI alliance, the group that co-leads COVAX with the WHO, said last week it aimed to deliver 2.3 billion vaccines worldwide by the end of 2021, including 1.8 billion free doses to lower-income countries.

UN: Decade of war deprives over half of Syrian children of education

- Advertisement -

“I am really hopeful it will (begin) in April but it might take even longer depending on so many factors,” Magtymova told Reuters in a phone interview from Damascus, of the plan to roll out the vaccine programme in Syria.

“We have to juggle with so many unknowns.”

Like other countries that are awaiting vaccines through COVAX, Syria can also obtain supplies directly from companies. But so far it has yet to announce any such bilateral agreements. Health officials say Damascus has been engaged in talks with Russia and China over vaccine supplies.

Apart from the logistics of arranging vaccinations across combat frontlines, Syria faces the additional hurdle of international financial sanctions.

Medicines are generally exempt from sanctions, but U.N. sources said the sanctions have left Damascus without much financial clout to negotiate deliveries, and have slowed the process by creating additional legal risks.

Magtymova said any supplies of safe and effective vaccines Syria could obtain would help make vaccines more available. The WHO has no role in such bilateral deals.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WCT staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Powered by the Echo RSS Plugin by CodeRevolution.

Related Articles

Travel tech: the best gadgets to pack on your holiday this summer

Summer is rapidly approaching and with it the possibility of getting away, whether within the UK or to one of the countries on the...

Heaven on the Rock – the best food, beaches and sights on Gibraltar

My best friend is Gibraltarian and I’ve been going to visit her a couple of times a year for about 15 years, first as...

Drama and beauty, hot sun and cool surfing: how Madeira stole my heart

Madeira, voted Europe’s best island destination at the World Travel Awards in 2020, is the most sought-after place to go this summer. Flight bookings...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Click to Subscribe!

7,698FansLike
5,572FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

Travel tech: the best gadgets to pack on your holiday this summer

Summer is rapidly approaching and with it the possibility of getting away, whether within the UK or to one of the countries on the...

Heaven on the Rock – the best food, beaches and sights on Gibraltar

My best friend is Gibraltarian and I’ve been going to visit her a couple of times a year for about 15 years, first as...

Drama and beauty, hot sun and cool surfing: how Madeira stole my heart

Madeira, voted Europe’s best island destination at the World Travel Awards in 2020, is the most sought-after place to go this summer. Flight bookings...

Transfer Talk: Barcelona may let Messi go to land Dortmund’s Haaland

The January transfer window might seem like a distant memory, but that doesn't mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves...

Koeman hopeful of Barca stay after Laporta talks

1:51 PM BSTSam MarsdenMoises LlorensRonald Koeman hopes to stay on as Barcelona coach next season with further talks planned with president Joan Laporta for...