BAGHDAD, Mar 4 (NNN-NINA) – In a health centre of Medical City, Iraq’s largest medical complex, medical staff members gathered, to register for COVID-19 vaccination with the Sinopharm vaccine donated by China.
“We are very optimistic about the vaccination programme, and we started the vaccination of some 40 medics in more than an hour of the first day,” Safaa al-Din Kareem, a nurse vaccinating the health workers at the scene, said.
Iraq kicked off its national vaccination on Tuesday, by administering the China-donated vaccines to Iraqi frontline health workers.
The Chinese vaccines, Kareem said, are like a lifesaving guard for the medical staff, as they “came at the right time, because we need it at this critical time with the increase of infections, especially after the detection of the new strain of virus.”
Iraqi health workers expressed their gratitude for the donation, especially as they combat the pandemic on the front line, with infection risks every working day.
Asraa Abbas, a nurse in her 30’s, said, she felt very happy after receiving a shot, because everyone in hospitals was put in constant danger.
“The Chinese vaccine not only came to save me, it came to save my whole family,” she said, adding, all citizens should take the vaccine, they should follow health protective measures and keep social distancing.
Iraqi Minister of Health, Hassan al-Tamimi, said, the vaccination began in Baghdad, while the vaccines were delivered to all Iraqi provinces, including the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, hours after the vaccines arrived from China.
Sayf al-Haidari, a supervisor of the vaccination programme, said that, China’s Sinopharm vaccine has proven successful.
“The Chinese vaccine is one of the vaccines that have been tried in many countries, including the Arabic countries, and have proven successful,” al-Haidari said. “The preliminary results of this vaccine indicated that its success rate is good and high, and other contracts are to be concluded to bring other batches of this vaccine.”
Mohammed Kamil of the Iraqi Ministry of Health praised China for the COVID-19 vaccines with affordability and accessibility.
“China’s donation initiative to Iraq was fast and effective, although China needs large quantities of vaccines for its own population,” Kamil said, referring to China’s efforts to make COVID-19 vaccines global public goods.
“It is not about the vaccine only. In the past months, since the outbreak of the pandemic, China has built a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) laboratory,” Kamil said. “This cooperation is very good, and is a goodwill gesture that shows China’s desire to help Iraq to overcome this crisis.”– NNN-NINA