In the midst of a third wave of the pandemic, Afghanistan has run out of COVID-19 vaccine doses and is waiting for the additional delivery.
Dastagir Nazari, a spokesman for the country’s health ministry, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) on Monday that the process of vaccinating new People has been stopped. Only those who have gotten the first shot are getting their second jabs.
Afghanistan has an estimated population of 37 million. So far, it has received 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India. Moreover, Afghanistan has received another 468,000 doses via the international vaccine-sharing program COVAX. Medical staff, members of the military forces, teachers, and media professionals were all vaccinated with these doses.
Afghanistan to Receive Vaccines from China
According to Nazari, Afghanistan expects additional 700,000 doses from China in the near future. However, there is no specified delivery date. Similarly, a fifth of Afghanistan’s population will receive COVAX. On the other hand, the government only has the funding to provide vaccines for 28% of the Afghan population.
However, “like the majority of undeveloped countries,” the large worldwide vaccination demand is hampering Afghanistan’s efforts. On May 30, the Health Ministry reported 929 new cases and 25 deaths in the last 24 hours. This brings the overall number of illnesses to 71,690, with 2,944 fatalities.
However, the actual number of infections is believed to be much higher. The numbers are not accurate due to the limited public health resources and testing capacities.
Recently, the country has seen a rise in new infections with the virus. According to Nazari, currently, 1,500 intensive care beds are available for the whole country. Out of which, 72 per cent are already occupied by patients.