100.800 doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine have arrived on 12 September to Iraq, as the first delivery from a pledge of 15 million doses to be donated to COVAX by Italy. In May this year, as chair of the G20, Italy hosted The Global Health Summit alongside the European Commission, which saw seven European countries pledge to share over 100 million vaccine doses to priority countries like Iraq, boosting short-term supplies.
This donation by Italy, one of the main contributors to Gavi, allows COVAX to deliver more vaccines in the third quarter of this year, meaning that more people will be able to access vaccines now, at a time when variants are a major threat to global health and stability.
“Italy stands by Iraq and supports its efforts in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic” said the Ambassador of Italy to Iraq, H. E. Mr. Bruno Pasquino, attending the delivery of the vaccines at the Baghdad International Airport together with the Director General of the Public Health Directorate of the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Dr. Riyadh Al-Hilfi, and the representatives of WHO and UNICEF to Iraq, Dr Ahmed Zouiten and Sheema SenGupta. “This donation is a tangible sign of the solidarity and friendship ties between Italy and Iraq, with a view to contributing to economic, social and sanitary recovery.”