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China says it will send 150,000 coronavirus vaccines to Syria, but no clarity on date

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China will send 150,000 doses of coronavrius vaccine to Syria as aid, the Chinese embassy in Damascus said on Thursday.

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There were no further details available on when the shipment would arrive or which vaccine would be sent, press officer Guan Bo said.

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Syrian health officials have said the country is engaged with Russia and China over vaccines but authorities have not yet announced any bilateral deals.

Read more: Coronavirus: Syrian medics dying due to lack of COVID-19 protection

Medicines are generally exempt from the international financial sanctions Syria is under, but UN sources have said sanctions have left Damascus without much financial clout to negotiate deliveries.

The country has signed up for COVAX, a global scheme backed by the World Health Organization to provide vaccines to poorer countries.

The WHO said on Wednesday it is deploying teams across Syria for a vaccination program that will be rolled out both in government-held areas and territory outside state control, perhaps as soon as April.

Dr Akjemal Magtymova, WHO representative in Damascus, said the COVAX program plans to immunize 5 million Syrians –- 20 percent
of the population.