Afghanistan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive, but faces challenges amid violence

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Afghanistan began its first COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday, administering doses initially to security force members, health workers and journalists, in a campaign that may face challenges from a sharp rise in violence.

The war-damaged country received 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII), which is producing the vaccine for mid- and low-income countries, earlier this month.

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In a ceremony at the presidential palace, acting health minister Waheed Majroh said the vaccines would be provided to 250,000 people, mostly from the security, health, education and media sectors.

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“Today is a fortunate day for Afghanistan as we launch the first vaccination drive, but it would be a challenge

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