[COVID-19] North Korea to receive 1.7 million vaccine doses later than expected
A World Health Organization official said the 1.7 million AstraZeneca doses will not make it to the DPRK by May 2021
Sources: NKNews, Won-Gi Jung April 12, 2021
Image: Rodong Sinmun (archive photo)
A global vaccine alliance planned to deliver 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to North Korea by May, but the delivery will now take longer than expected, NK News has confirmed.
Edwin Salvador, a World Health Organization (WHO) representative to North Korea, reportedly said on March 25 that there will be a delay in vaccine supplies to the DPRK as well as other countries in its COVAX Facility global procurement program. Gavi is a United Nations-affiliated vaccine alliance that teamed up with the World Health Organization to work on COVAX.
A total of 142 countries are slated to receive nearly 240 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the global vaccine initiative, according to Gavi’s allocation plan that was announced in March. Since the beginning of international deliveries on Feb. 24, COVAX has shipped more than 38 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 104 countries as of April 9, but North Korea has yet to appear on its list of recipients.
Two shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine are required per patient, which means that North Korea’s allocated share of 1.7 million vaccines would be enough to cover 850,000 people, or about 3.3% of the country’s entire population.
According to Salvador, North Korea will follow a vaccine distribution plan developed in partnership with WHO and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The plan will prioritize frontline healthcare workers and the elderly.
North Korea claimed to have “zero” positive cases for COVID-19 as of March 25.
Edited by Kelly Kasulis