UAE begins Covid-19 vaccine drive for 15,000 Syrian refugees and displaced people in Iraq

Sinopharm shots will be administered to people in refugee camps

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Emirates Red Crescent has begun the first phase of a vaccination programme for Syrian refugees and displaced people in Erbil, Iraq.

The plan is to vaccinate 15,000 people in Iraqi Kurdistan refugee camps, state news agency Wam reported.

The inoculation drive is being carried out in co-ordination with the UAE Consulate in Erbil, Department of Health Abu Dhabi and the Ministry of Health in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The programme was launched at the Dibkah Camp.

Dr Mohammed Al Falahi, secretary general of ERC, said the programme is aimed at helping displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees in densely populated camps.

On Monday, ERC started to vaccinate 12,000 refugees in the Emirati-Jordanian camp of Mrajeeb Al Fhood, as well as the Zaatari, Al Azraq and Al Hadiqa camps.

The health campaign is being undertaken on the instruction of Sheikha Fatima, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Honorary Chairwoman of the ERC. Sinopharm will be administered.

The vaccination drive follows last week's announcement that the UAE launched an initiative to export thousands of vaccines to countries struggling to tackle Covid-19.

The ERC and Tamouh Healthcare will assist in delivering and administering vaccines.

The UAE has provided aid to more than 135 countries since the start of the pandemic.

Kenya, Syria and Guinea were among the countries to benefit.