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Afghanistan runs out of vaccine amid Covid surge
Kabul, May 31 - Afghanistan is waiting for new deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines amid a surge in infections and a third wave of the pandemic, Health Ministry spokesman Dastagir Nazari said on Monday.
Nazari told dpa news agency that the process of vaccinating new people has been stopped in the country.
Only individuals who have had the first shot are currently receiving jabs.
The country with an estimated population of 37 million has so far received 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jab from India and another 468,000 doses from the international vaccine-sharing programme COVAX.
The doses were used to vaccinate health workers, members of the armed forces, teachers and media staff.
The country is expected to receive another 700,000 doses of vaccines from China "in the near future" ,but there is no exact date for the deliveries, Nazari said.
Afghanistan is struggling to receive vaccines for the entire population.
The country is supposed to receive vaccines for a fifth of the population through COVAX.
For another 28 per cent of the population, Kabul has the budget to buy vaccines itself, Nazari said.
The government was trying to get vaccines as soon as possible.
However, he added, "like the majority of the underdeveloped countries", Afghanistan was confronted with the problem that there is massive global vaccine demand.
Recently, the country witnessed a surge in new infections with the virus.
Currently, of 1,500 intensive care beds for the whole country 72 per cent are already occupied by patients, according to the official.
Afghanistan's current Covid-19 caseload and death toll stand at 70,761 and 2,919, respectively.
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