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North Korea shuns COVID vaccines

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“Officials must bear in mind that tightening epidemic prevention is the task of paramount importance which must not be loosened even a moment,” Kim said during a politburo meeting on Thursday, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Friday.

While stressing the need for material and technical means of coronavirus prevention and increasing health workers’ qualifications, Kim also called for “further rounding off our style epidemic prevention system,” KCNA said.

Kim has earlier called for North Koreans to brace for prolonged Covid-19 restrictions, indicating the country’s borders would stay closed despite worsening economic and food conditions.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, North Korea has used tough quarantines and border closures to prevent outbreaks of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), which procures and delivers vaccines on behalf of the COVAX distribution program, said North Korea proposed its allotment of about 3 million Sinovac shots be sent to severely affected nations instead.

According to Unicef, North Korea’s health ministry has said it would continue to communicate with COVAX over future vaccines.


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