The COVAX Facility, a global vaccine distribution platform, has reduced the amount of Covid-19 vaccines allocated for North Korea, apparently cancelling a batch of jabs developed by a US company, in a move seen attributable to the lack of a response from Pyongyang, the Unicef revealed on Tuesday.
A total of 1.29 million vaccines have been allocated to the North, according to the Unicef’s Covid-19 Vaccine Market Dashboard, down 252,000 from the previous 1.54 million doses as of earlier this month.
In its vaccine allocation decision proposal last month, COVAX set aside 252,000 Covovax vaccines developed by Novavax Inc. for North Korea, reports Yonhap News Agency.
COVAX previously set aside 1.29 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for the North this year.
North Korea, which has claimed to be coronavirus-free, is yet to receive vaccines amid its prolonged border controls against the pandemic.
An official at South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, which handles inter-Korean affairs, told reporters that the government is aware that “various working-level” consultations between North Korea and COVAX are underway.
“As these consultations are going on, the government will continue to keep an eye on related issues,” the official added without elaborating.