BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Ministry of Health confirmed there was a “sufficient” number of vaccines available in the country up to the middle of 2023, as part of its vaccination program for Iraqi children, the Iraq News Agency (INA) reported on Thursday.
“The ministry is facing financial difficulties in providing vaccines due to the lack of a budget. Despite that, the vaccines, which are currently available and which may reach us, can cover the country until June of next year,” Firas Al-Moussawi, the head of the immunization department at the health ministry, said.
Last March, the ministry, in cooperation with UNICEF, launched a campaign to expand the coverage of routine immunization services to include over 1,300 mobile awareness teams across Iraq, according to INA.
The routine vaccination program includes vaccinating children against measles, polio, hepatitis, smallpox, and other diseases.
The ministry is currently working on a plan to ensure that the vaccination program continues efficiently, INA reported.
“The number of children covered by basic vaccinations is 1,250,000 children under one year of age, and they are the most vulnerable group to infection with viral and bacterial diseases,” he said.
“The ministry’s priority is to immunize these people from epidemic diseases, and the Minister of Health attaches the utmost importance to this issue. As for children under five years of age, more than 5,000,000 children have received the vaccines, and they are all targeted through the routine vaccination program,” INA cited Al-Moussawi as saying.