U.N. facility allocates 3 mil. doses of China’s vaccine to North Korea

Aug 20 , 2021. 13 hours ago – 20:31 KYODO NEWS

People wearing face masks for protection against COVID-19 walk in Pyongyang on Aug. 10, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

BEIJING – A U.N.-backed facility has newly allocated 3 million doses of coronavirus vaccine produced by China’s major pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. to North Korea, according to U.S. media.

But it is uncertain whether North Korea will accept them, Radio Free Asia on Wednesday quoted an official of the World Health Organization as saying, with all eyes on when the nation will obtain vaccines for its people through the COVAX platform.

North Korea was expected to receive around 2 million doses of vaccine produced by Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc earlier this year, but the plan has been postponed as the country has been unwilling to fulfil all of the COVAX program’s required administrative steps.

The COVAX initiative has asked vaccine receivers to accept those engaged in monitoring whether vaccinations have been carried out in an appropriate manner there, but North Korea has not allowed even its own citizens to enter the nation.

North Korea may carefully consider receiving Sinovac’s vaccine from the framework designed to guarantee equitable global access to coronavirus vaccines, as many countries in South America and Southeast Asia have recently started to doubt the efficacy of it.

Pyongyang claims no infection cases have been found in the nation. It has cut off land traffic to and from China and Russia since early last year to prevent the intrusion of the virus, first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.