Afghanistan runs out of vaccine as Covid-19 infections and deaths mount
Running out of Covid-19 vaccine, the Ministry of Public Health has stopped vaccination across Afghanistan saying that the process will be resumed as soon as more doses of vaccines are supplied to the country. This comes as the country recorded highest death toll on Monday, June 07, and the highest infections today, Tuesday, June 08.
“Exceeded interval between the first and second doses [of vaccines] does not harm immunity,” the health ministry said in a statement issued on Monday, June 07. According to the Ministry, the recommended interval between the two doses of the covid-19 vaccine is four to 16 weeks. Those who have received the first dose of Covishield – Indian made AstraZeneca vaccine – can receive the second dose 16 weeks later, the Ministry noted.
Afghanistan has so far received 468,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines via the COVAX Facility, a UN-led global initiative to provide equitable access to vaccines, and 500,000 doses of Covishield from India.
In the meantime, Jawid Ahmad Qaem, Afghanistan Ambassador to China, said a shipment of 700,000 doses of covid-19 vaccine provided by China will arrive in Kabul on Thursday, June 10. The China aided vaccine has been produced by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, the Ambassador wrote on his Facebook page.
More than 241,000 people have so far been vaccinated across Afghanistan since the process kicked off on February 23, 20201.
The country faces delay in receiving vaccines as it recorded its highest daily Covid-19 deaths on Monday, June 07. As many as 56 patients lost their lives to Covid-19 and 1,582 new cases of coronavirus reported on Monday, according to Ministry of Public Health.
Today, Tuesday, June 08, the Ministry of Public Health has recorded 1,724 cases of coronavirus with 54 new deaths over the past 24 hours. It has reported 571 Covid-19 patients have recovered from the pandemic disease over past 24 hours.
The total number of cases recorded so far mounts to 84,050 and the total deaths to 3,305, according to updates by the health ministry.
School closures extended
To prevent the rapid spread of third wave of coronavirus, ten days ago, the Afghan government closed down schools, educational centers, and universities for two weeks in 16 provinces across the country.
Talking to Kabul Now, Osman Taheri, spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health said that closure of these educational centers has been extended by two weeks.
The provinces where the closure has been extended for another two weeks include Kabul, Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, Logar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Parwan, Maidan Wardak, Panjshir, Balkh, Laghman, Badakhshan, Kapisa, Kunduz, and Nimroz provinces.
The ministry’s spokesperson added that these institutions will be closed down in any province where the infection rate of the coronavirus mounts. He added that all gymnasiums, swimming pool, and wedding halls have also been closed for two weeks in the aforementioned provinces.
Moreover, the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission has given leaves to those civil servants of the government who are vulnerable against the virus since Sunday, June 06.
On the other hand, all 130 beds of Herat’s Covid-19 Shaidayee Hospital have been filled with patients, according to Abdul Hakim Tammanna, Director of Herat’s Public Health Directorate. He added that a 50-bed hospital is supposed to be allocated for Covid-19 patients.