Afghanistan live news: It is unclear how many will be left after evacuation, says UK foreign minister | world News

In the first week after the Taliban invaded Kabul, the vaccination against Covid-19 was administered in Afghanistan The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it is down by 80%, warning that half of the few doses delivered to the country so far are nearing completion.

The Taliban took control of the Afghan capital on August 15, having already seized most of the country earlier in the month after the United States decided to withdraw military forces after 20 years of war.

“There has been an 80% reduction in the number of people reached with COVID-19 vaccines,” a UNICEF spokesperson told Reuters.

In the week of August 15, 30,500 people were vaccinated in 23 of the country’s 34 districts, while 134,600 people were vaccinated the previous week in 30 districts, according to figures provided by UNICEF, which coordinates the Covid-19 release. Shots distributed worldwide by the World Health Organization Covax Vaccine Program.

Noting that the UN agency had called on all Afghan health care workers, including women, to return to work, the UNICEF spokesperson said:

The drop is understandable, as in situations of chaos, conflict and emergency, people will prioritize their safety and security first.

The spokesman declined to comment on whether the drop in vaccines was also caused by the Taliban’s possible suspicions of the vaccine, but cautioned about the risks from a prolonged slowdown in the vaccination campaign.

Nearly two million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine delivered to Afghanistan, about half of the total so far, are expiring in November, a UNICEF spokesperson said.

WHO data shows that only 1.2 million doses have been administered as of August 20 in Afghanistan, which has a population of 40 million.

Gavi, who co-leads Covax with the World Health Organization, said the program has so far delivered more than 4 million doses to Afghanistan.

A Gavi spokesperson told Reuters, declining to comment on whether the Taliban had hampered vaccinations:

Our priority today is to work with UNICEF and WHO country offices (..) to ensure that we can continue the COVID-19 vaccination program in the country.


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