Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Syria to Receive Russian, Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines in April

Syria to Receive Russian, Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines in April

Wednesday, 20 January, 2021 - 10:30
Children wearing masks inside the classroom in one of Syria’s schools. (File photo: Reuters)

The Chinese and Russian coronavirus vaccines are expected to arrive in Syria in April, announced the head of the Syrian Doctors Syndicate, Kamal Assad Amer.

Amer stated that the government has devised a plan to start administering the vaccine next April, and additional quantities will be ordered later if needed, based on the plan of the Health Ministry.

The plan aims to bring two million doses with a priority to the front liners, such as medical teams and doctors.

Over the past few months, authorities confirmed that 100 doctors had died after contracting the COVID-19 infection, while about 30 others died of various diseases or suspected coronavirus cases.

Most of the doctors who died were between 50 and 60 years old, with the majority of them in Damascus, Aleppo, and Homs, according to a previous statement issued by the Doctors Syndicate.

The statement also indicated that many medical staffers contracted the coronavirus and were treated inside the country, without specifying the exact number.

A week ago, the government approved a mechanism devised by the Health Ministry to import coronavirus vaccines.

Syria is one of the 92 countries that will receive the vaccines as part of an economic aid initiative launched by COVAX.

COVAX is a global initiative launched by the World Health Organization and the Vaccine Alliance to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, targeting up to 20 percent of the world population in all member countries.

The program concluded agreements to access two billion doses of several vaccine candidates, provided that the first doses will start arriving in mid-February.

Earlier, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad expressed Damascus's hope to obtain the Russian vaccine for free when starting negotiations with Moscow to buy the vaccine.

The Syrian people have more confidence in Russian vaccines than Pfizer and other vaccines, he announced, adding: “We are confident that the Russian people are generous enough to take these aspects into consideration, especially amid the exceptional economic and social circumstances that Syria is going through.”

Editor Picks