Syria Receives First Shipment of Russian COVID-19 Vaccine

Reuters
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A medic administers a vaccine from the World Health Organization in Qamishli, Syria last week.
A medic administers a vaccine from the World Health Organization in Qamishli, Syria last week.Credit: Delil Souleiman / AFP
Reuters

Syria has received a first shipment of Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, Russia's Interfax news agency reported on Thursday, quoting the Syrian ambassador to Russia.

Ambassador Riad Haddad did not say how big the shipment was but said the vaccine was now being administered to the public after doctors and the country's senior leaders were among those to get the first shots.

Separately, Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov said further supplies were likely.

"If there is demand and if it is possible, there will be (more supplies), we help all of our friends," Interfax quoted Bogdanov as saying.

President Bashar al-Assad was among those to be vaccinated after Syria received a first shipment of Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.

Russia has backed President Bashar al-Assad and helped him turn the tide in the Syrian civil war. With the help of Russia and Iran, Assad has crushed the insurgency against him and regained control over 70 percent of territory, but Syria is not at peace.

Syrian President Bashar Assad was re-elected in a landslide a couple of weeks ago, ushering in a fourth seven-year term in the war-torn country following an election described as illegitimate and a sham by the West and his opposition.

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