North Korea has denied shipments of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine being distributed under the COVAX program due to concerns about side effects, a South Korean think tank said on Friday. 7), Reuters reported.
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North Korea has so far not reported any COVID-19 infections. However, the reclusive nation has imposed strict anti-virus measures, including closing its borders and restricting travel within the country.
COVAX said it will deliver nearly 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to North Korea. South Korea said the first supply had been scheduled for late May, but had been delayed amid lengthy consultations.
According to a report by the Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS), an organization affiliated with South Korea’s intelligence agency, Pyongyang is currently considering other vaccine options.
North Korean authorities have become concerned about the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of rare but serious blood clots in some of the people who received it, according to INSS.
The Global Immunization and Immunization Coalition, one of the COVAX co-leaders, passed questions to North Korea to clarify what vaccines it wants and its related vaccine policies. what they are.
The INSS report also said North Korea was not interested in Chinese vaccines due to concerns they might not be effective.
A report by Daily NK in May 2021 reported that a senior North Korean official died after being injected with a Chinese-made drug. This incident angered Kim Jong-un, who ordered North Korea’s key hospitals to ban the use of Chinese medicines.
However, North Korea has shown interest in vaccines made in Russia and hopes they will be given away for free.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow had provided vaccines to Pyongyang in some cases.
North Korea has allowed its diplomats abroad to receive COVID-19 vaccinations starting at the end of March.