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China steps in with coronavirus vaccine aid for needy Afghans

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published June 10,2021

Afghanistan on Thursday received a much-needed consignment of 700,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine donated by China.

Officials at the Public Health Ministry in Kabul said priority for jabs would be given to the citizens of vulnerable age and conditions amid peak of infections and corresponding deaths in the ongoing third wave.

"Today, luckily we received 700,000 doses of vaccine from China, we would resume administration of the vaccines on Saturday", Dastagir Nazary, spokesman for the ministry, told Anadolu Agency.

According to official figures, at least 968,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have already been administered in the country. Half of these vaccines, an estimated 500,000 doses were gifted to Afghanistan by India while another 486,000 doses came through COVAX, a global vaccine-sharing facility.

However, owing to lack of vaccines, the Afghan government on Tuesday stopped giving the jabs. "Extended gap between the first and second doses does not eliminate the immunity," it said in a bid to quell mounting concerns.

Afghanistan on Thursday reported the highest single-day deaths of 56 and new infections of 1,822, taking the total infections to 87,716 and deaths to 3,412.

In February, Afghanistan began the rollout of the Indian-made COVID-19 vaccine as it calls for more international support to vaccinate at least 20% of the estimated population of 38 million this year, and 60% by the end of 2022.