SULAIMANI - The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced a deal for up to 2.5 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine, despite a study by South Africa that the vaccine offered "minimal protection" against mild and moderate cases of COVID-19.
"The best pick for us was AstraZeneca vaccines, considering the way of storing, packaging, transportation and the price of the vaccine, compared to Pfizer which needs to be kept extremely cold, "KRG Deputy health minister Dr. Rahel Faraydun told Voice of America.
February 15 has been set as the date for the Kurdistan Region to enter the list of the countries which have struck a deal with the British drugmaker to get the vaccine, Faraydun said.
After a South African study that the drug offers minimal protection against the new South Africa variant of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday it is reviewing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
South African said it temporarily halts the use of the vaccine in light of the study, conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine requires two doses, given four weeks apart. Over 1 million residents of the Kurdistan Region will receive all administered doses.