Houthis refuse to take and distribute coronavirus vaccine: Yemen Gov’t

Republican Yemen

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels refused to take the coronavirus vaccine and distribute it in areas under their control, the Health Ministry in Yemen’s internationally recognized government said on Thursday.

“The Houthis refusal to receive the Covid-19 vaccine is threatening the lives of citizens in areas under their control,” Ali Al Walidi, the undersecretary of Yemen’s Health Ministry, said during a virtual meeting hosted by the World Health Organisation.

Al Walidi accused the Houthi militia of causing the economic, health, and political collapse of the country.

In April, Yemen began a coronavirus vaccine, mainly in areas under its control, after receiving its first 360,000-dose shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative.

According to WHO representative in Yemen, Dr. Adham Abdel-Moneim, the Houthis had agreed to receive 10.000 doses but rejected a plan to implement a joint campaign to vaccinate medics in areas under their control.

“Initially they agreed, under insistence, to accept 10,000 vaccine doses, but those could not be delivered after they stipulated that they must be distributed separately from our supervision,” he said.

In March, Yemen was hit by a second wave of the novel coronavirus. Yemeni medics say the second wave proved to be far worse than the first one, exacerbating the already worst humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

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