Coronavirus vaccines arrive in North and East Syria, public opinion remains mixed

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Vaccines are key in the global campaign to overcome the current coronavirus pandemic.

Millions of vaccines around the world are ready and millions of people have been vaccinated, but according to World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, despite the growing number of vaccine options, the current manufacturing capacity is still insufficient.

On 30 May, the Health Directorate of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria, in coordination with the WHO, began a campaign to vaccinate health and medical personnel in a hospital in Hasaka following the arrival of 23,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine provided to the DAA by the COVAX platform. Of the doses delivered to the DAA, 13,200 doses were distributed in Hasakah, 4,000 to the eastern countryside of Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor), and 6,000 to Raqqa.

According to medical sources, the Health Directorate had begun vaccinating medical personnel and front-line workers. In the second phase the elderly and those with chronic diseases will be vaccinated.

Due to continued questions about the vaccine and its effectiveness by the general public, SuroyoTV conducted a series of street interviews in Zalin (Qamishli) about the coronavirus pandemic and the vaccine.

Mehdi Khalifa from Jawadiya saw the vaccine as a positive, saying he is ready to get vaccinated when it is available.

Issam said there are many vaccines that have spread around the world and that there is no information about how effective they are, indicating that he would refuse to take the vaccine.

Nazlya Ibrahim Mohammed confirmed that she would take the vaccine if a campaign was launched to vaccinate everyone in the region.

Jaafar Asali also agreed to take the vaccine, noting that access to the vaccine for everyone in the region was important.

Mohammed Khair said that he is wary of being vaccinated, especially because of the large number of vaccines that have appeared, and he does not know how effective they are.

Ayham Hamo echoed Khair’s sentiments, saying he would refuse to take the vaccine because he and other civilians did not know how effective it was.