HASAKEH, Syria — More than 200 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in northeast Syria’s densely-populated Al-Hol camp for the displaced and families of defeated jihadists, a government official said Thursday.
The vaccination drive, using AstraZeneca jabs under the Covax program for low-income parts of the world, covers government-held areas and territory run by a Kurdish local administration.
Syrian health ministry teams had inoculated 205 people up until Wednesday in Al-Hol camp of Hasakeh province, the ministry’s provincial chief Issa al-Khalaf told AFP.
The camp houses about 62,000 people, mainly women and children, including tens of thousands of family members of foreign Islamic State fighters.
According to medical sources inside the camp, foreign wives of suspected fighters were being excluded from the vaccination drive, a charge denied by Khalaf.
Syria’s health ministry in April received a first consignment of 203,000 doses of AstraZeneca through Covax, according to the World Health Organization.
Almost 7,000 people have so far been inoculated in the Kurdish-held areas, in a campaign launched a month ago, local health chief Jawan Moustafa said.
The areas of northeast Syria under Kurdish control, where medical shortages are rife, have recorded over 18,000 cases of coronavirus, including 761 deaths.