Syria expected to get COVID-19 vaccine in 2nd quarter: deputy health minister

DAMASCUS, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian government is expected to get the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine in the second quarter of 2021, deputy Health Minister Ahmad Khlifawi told Xinhua on Thursday.

Khlifawi said Syria will be getting the vaccine through the COVAX platform, which is co-led by Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization.

The declared goal behind the existence of COVAX is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

According to Khlifawi, the first batch of the vaccine will arrive in several shipments and cover the needs of 20 percent of the Syrian population.

Aside from the COVAX, the Syrian official said his country will be seeking to get vaccines from friendly countries such as Russia and China.

The first people to get the vaccine will be the medical workers in intensive care units and the units for treating the coronavirus, followed by the elderly and patients suffering chronic diseases, he noted.

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