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N. Korea to be supplied with 1.7 mln doses of coronavirus vaccines through COVAX

North Korea 09:09 March 03, 2021

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is expected to be supplied with around 1.7 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 by May through a global vaccine distribution program.

According to a vaccine allocation plan unveiled by the COVAX Facility, a total of 1.704 million doses of the AZ-Oxford vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca will be provided to North Korea from February to May.

The amount will be enough to inoculate around 852,000 people given that a person should be shot twice.

The COVAX Facility earlier said that it will allocate some 2 million doses of vaccines to North Korea by the first half of this year. It appears that the supply plan has been slightly scaled down.

The COVAX Facility is a World Health Organization-led multilateral platform aimed at securing equitable vaccine availability. North Korea is among the 92 underdeveloped countries subject to the COVAX vaccine provision plan funded by developed nations.

The North has claimed to be coronavirus-free but has taken relatively swift and tough measures against the global pandemic such as strict border controls.

During the same February-May period, South Korea will also be provided with around 2.1 million doses of AZ-Oxford vaccines and 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines through the COVAX platform.

Officials disinfect a bus in Pyongyang amid the coronavirus pandemic, in this undated photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on Feb. 19, 2021. North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free, but it has implemented relatively swift and extensive antivirus efforts since early last year, including border controls restricting movement of people and goods between the North and China. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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