Yemen receives first coronavirus vaccines: UN

AFP
Aden, Yemen Published: Mar 31, 2021, 01:50 PM(IST)

Vials labelled "AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken March 10, 2021 (File Photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The AstraZeneca doses arrived in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen's de facto capital. the country has received 360,000 doses

War-torn Yemen received the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday, the UN children's agency said, a week after the country's coronavirus committee warned of a public health "emergency".

The AstraZeneca doses arrived in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen's de facto capital, where the internationally recognised government is based after being routed from Sanaa in the north by Huthi rebels.

Also read | India sends COVID-19 vaccines to over 80 countries, Fiji the latest entrant 

"Yemen received 360,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses shipped via the Covax facility," UNICEF said in a statement, referring to the World Health Organization-backed scheme to provide jabs to countries in need.

"This first batch is part of 1.9 million doses that Yemen will initially receive throughout 2021," it added.

Also read | Germany halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine for elderly amid reports of rare disorder

Last week Yemen's coronavirus committee urged the government to declare a public health "state of emergency" amid a surge in infections.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) had also warned the number of critically Covid-19 patients was rising across the country, urging assistance from donor countries and specialised groups.

Also read | World will need new vaccines to fight coronavirus in a year, say major scientists

Yemen has officially recorded more than 4,000 virus cases among its 30 million people, including 863 deaths -- but experts say the real toll is likely higher.

The country has been mired in a disastrous war for over six years which has left it on the brink of famine. Its healthcare system is in ruins.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in 2015 to shore up the government, and since then the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, and displaced millions.

The United Nations calls the situation there the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Read in App