The World Health Organization stated that it intends to provide North Korea with approximately 3 million doses of Chinese-made vaccines, but no timetable was provided.
According to Radio Free Asia’s Korean station, Edwin Salvador, chief of the WHO office in Pyongyang, 2.97 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccines will be given to North Korea.
“We are still waiting for a response from [North Korea] to this offer,” Salvador said.
According to a UN official, the Kim Jong Un dictatorship has already established a nationwide vaccination deployment plan, as well as a “Technical Assistance plan for its dissemination.”
“With COVID-19 vaccines now being able to be stored between [35.6 and 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit], and [North Korea] having a good track record on routine immunisation, the [country’s] immunisation system and network is expected to manage the COVID-19 vaccination rollout with adequate technical support, such as cold chain logistics and monitoring and surveillance during its implementation.”
It is unknown whether North Korea will accept Chinese vaccination shipments.
South Korea’s spy agency said in February that China most likely approached North Korea with vaccine offers, but the nation did not respond. The Sinovac vaccine was revealed in January to have an efficacy rate of about 50% in trials.
North Korean employees in China may have previously been immunised with Chinese vaccinations. Yonhap reported earlier this month that North Korean restaurant workers were lined up at a hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, to be vaccinated.
North Korea has not publicly confirmed receiving any COVID-19 vaccines despite seeking 1,7 million doses from the World Health Organization’s COVAX Facility earlier this year.
COVAX has stated that it will eventually give 1.99 million medicines to the country.