By Abdul Qadir Sediqi
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan acquired 500,000 doses of AztraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from India on Sunday, the primary to reach within the nation, which remains to be ready for emergency approval from the World Well being Organisation earlier than it might probably use them.
Ghulam Dastagir Nazari, head of the immunisation program on the well being ministry stated the doses could be saved in Kabul till the emergency authorisation was acquired, which it hoped would occur in every week.
The vaccines had been produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), which is producing the AstraZenecca/Oxford College vaccine for mid- and low-income international locations.
“The (WHO) certification course of is underway and hopefully it is going to be completed in every week and we are going to begin the vaccination course of in all 34 provinces,” stated Nazari.
Well being employees, safety drive members, lecturers and authorities workers would obtain the vaccine first, he stated.
The Afghan authorities has already skilled 1,000 folks to ship the vaccine out of the three,000 that might be wanted to hold out its vaccination drive, he stated.
Nazari stated China additionally deliberate to ship 200,000 doses of the vaccine.
Afghan well being officers have additionally stated that the worldwide COVAX programme geared toward bettering entry to the COVID-19 vaccine for creating international locations would supply vaccines to cowl 20% of the nation’s 38 million inhabitants.
Afghanistan has had 55,335 COVID-19 instances and a couple of,410 deaths from the illness, in keeping with the well being ministry.
The WHO listed Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Dec. 31 because it sought to speed up vaccination within the creating world, which is badly lagging western international locations.
A regional WHO official instructed Reuters this week that they had been trying on the manufacturing websites for the AstraZeneca vaccine and hoped to make the choice on emergency use inside weeks.
(Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield; Modifying by Christian Schmollinger)