British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has chosen an Iraq-born MP to become minister of Covid-19 vaccine deployment.
Nadhim Zahawi was born in Baghdad to Kurdish parents. At the age of nine, he and his family fled Iraq to Britain during Saddam Hussein’s early years in power.
Mr Zahawi, MP for Stratford-Upon-Avon, made the ministerial announcement on Saturday on his Twitter account.
"Delighted to have been asked by @BorisJohnson to become the minister for Covid vaccine deployment. A big responsibility & a big operational challenge but absolutely committed to making sure we can roll out vaccines quickly-saving lives and livelihoods and helping us #buildbackbetter," he said.
The British-Iraqi national entered politics in the early 1990s and was an aide to Tory MP Jeffrey Archer during his controversial "Simple Truth" campaign to help Kurdish victims of the Gulf War.
Mr Zahawi also served as the co-founder and chief executive of political polling company YouGov between 2005 and 2010.
Most recently, he served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Life Sciences and Industry.
The British government intends to begin the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine next month.
NHS bosses said English hospitals could expect to receive their first deliveries of a vaccine produced by Pfizer/BioNTech as soon as Monday 7 December, with regulatory approval anticipated within days, The Guardian reported on Friday.
Covid-19 has claimed the lives of at least 57,000 Britons and infected more than a million of them.