The COVAX facility, a global vaccine distribution platform, has reportedly reduced the number of COVID-19 vaccines assigned to North Korea as it refused to arrange for a UN-sponsored immunization program.
According to the UNICEF website, the number of vaccines assigned to North Korea has dropped to 1.54 million, compared to 8.11 million assigned last year.
A spokesman for Gavi, a global vaccine alliance co-leading the COVAX facility, said the initial doses assigned to North Korea are irrelevant as COVAX focuses on the distribution of “needs-based” vaccines. Insisted that.
“The vaccine is [North Korea] In case the government decides to introduce COVID-19 immunity as part of a pandemic response, technical considerations to help the country catch up with its international immune goals in 2022. ” Stated.
A spokeswoman reaffirmed COVAX’s commitment to engage in dialogue with North Korea “to make the COVID-19 immunization program operational.”
Last year, nuclear-armed nations declined to provide 3 million doses of Sinovac vaccine, and in July last year rejected the planned shipment of AstraZeneca vaccine by the COVAX facility.
A South Korean think tank belonging to a spy agency in Seoul said North Korea was wary of Chinese vaccines because of concerns about its effectiveness, but the administration expressed interest in Russian vaccines.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergeĭ Viklov said in July last year that Russia had offered to deliver vaccines and medical devices to North Korea “often”.
“We often said we were ready to provide the necessary support as needed. Indeed, this applies to vaccines and medical devices when the need arises,” Russia said. Viklov, the press of the company, said. report..
North Korea has closed its borders and imposed a strict travel ban, even though it has not confirmed a case of COVID-19. This is a record widely suspected by the international community.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state media, reported last week that the North Korean parliament passed a plan to increase the budget for the prevention of epidemics by 33.3 percent compared to last year.
North Korean Prime Minister Kim Tok-hun, who is in charge of the economySaid At the meeting, emergency epidemic prevention was given top priority, and “the epidemic prevention barrier will be further strengthened.”
North Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong-un had previously ordered authorities to strengthen military power and develop “high-tech weapons”, emphasizing incompetence and loopholes, prioritizing urgent campaigns against pandemics.
Reuters contributed to this report.