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North Korea Rejects Covid-19 Vaccine Doses

North Korea has decided not to accept roughly three million doses of Covid-19 vaccines developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. The country stated that the doses should be sent to countries that have been hit harder by the pandemic. The shots were offered over the past few weeks through to Covax initiative, a program funded by Western government to aid lower-income countries with vaccination rates. North Korea cited the limited global supply for the doses and continuing virus surges elsewhere when they declined the offer.

Kim Jong Un’s administration had reported zero confirmed Covid-19 cases to the World Health Organization, however, its borders remain closed and state media has urged constant vigilance through an anti-epidemic campaign. The impoverished country does not have the funds to purchase vaccine doses for itself. North Korea has expressed doubt over the vaccines, reporting incidents in the US and Europe in which vaccinated individuals have become sick with the virus again. The Sinovac vaccine has also faced controversy in Asia, with some countries offering booster shots of Western vaccines to healthcare workers who had already received two doses.

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