Syria authorizes the use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus

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The Syrian embassy in Moscow announced on Monday that Syria has authorized the use of the Russian vaccine Sputnik-V against Covid-19 on its territory. “The Syrian Arab Republic has completed all registration measures for the Sputnik-V vaccine and has authorized its use on its territory,” Russian news agency Tass said, quoting an official embassy statement.

Syria, at war since 2011, has benefited from the great and decisive military support of the Kremlin, which provides arms, but also humanitarian aid to the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Officially, the areas controlled by the Syrian regime have registered 15,179 cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, of which 998 have died. The Kurdish-controlled territories in the north-east of the country recorded 8,600 cases and 311 deaths, while the opposition areas in the north-west of the country recorded 21,121 cases and 408 deaths.

The Russian Sputnik vaccine, whose efficacy was initially questioned by the scientific international community, has finally gained recognition for its reliability in a study published in the medical journal “The Lancet” after being approved by independent experts. The vaccine is now authorized in more thanthirty countries. Russian authorities are trying to make deals to produce the vaccine locally instead of exporting it due to a lack of sufficient capacity to meet the first domestic demand.

In December, Syria joined the World Health Organization (WHO) Kovacs initiative to help poorer countries. The goal of the Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Gavi Vaccine Program is to ensure vaccine doses for at least 20% of the Syrian population by the end of 2021. The Syrian crisis began on March 15, 2011, with the first demonstrations against the dictatorial regime of Bashar al-Assad, which then developed into riots on a national scale and then into a civil war in 2012.

The arrival of thousands of foreign Jihadists from all over the world, across the Turkish border, the well-known highway jihadist, has turned the civil conflict into a global war. To date, the country is on the verge of bankruptcy, with millions of families starving and as many fleeing to refugee camps in inhumane conditions. The situation was further worsened by the introduction of economic sanctions by the United States and the European Union, which were not raised even in the face of the COVID-19 health emergency.

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