Syrians relieved to get Chinese vaccine against COVID-19

(Xinhua) 15:37, July 08, 2021

HASAKAH, Syria, July 8 (Xinhua) -- A band of locals were waiting for a COVID-19 jab at a medical center in the northeastern province of Hasakah on Wednesday. Sixty-year-old Seham Aslan joined the line, as Syria has prioritized the elderly and medical workers in the vaccination race against the virus.

In the country there are several types of vaccines, including a Chinese one. Aslan has encouraged acquaintances to receive an injection, saying the Chinese vaccine, in particular, has been proven safe.

"I am so happy for taking the Chinese vaccine to protect ourselves and everyone against any possible infection," she told Xinhua. "I hope everyone can take this vaccine because it's a protection."

In April, Syria received a batch of the Chinese vaccine as part of the Chinese government's aid to the war-torn country in the face of the health crisis.

Marwan Salem, another 60-year-old, told Xinhua he had weighed up the pros and cons before deciding to take a shot. Among prudent Syrians still in voluntary quarantine to protect themselves and beloved ones, he rejoiced at having the Chinese vaccine, calling it "effective and safe."

"I took the Chinese vaccine," he said, "because it's effective and because it's from a friendly country, which supports us."

Last year China sent to Syria several batches of assistance, including face masks, goggles, protection suits, testing kits, and ventilators. Chinese medical workers also held video conferences with their Syrian counterparts to update them on how to cope with the deadly coronavirus.

In the eyes of Issa Khalaf, head of the health department in Hasakah, it is particularly significant to have the Chinese vaccine and a mass roll-out at this particular time, as the U.S. sanctions have caused a harsh economic crisis.

Chinese and Russian friends, on the contrary, have given the vaccine for free to Syria "as this vaccine has been distributed across Syria and given to medical staff since the beginning of this year," Khalaf said, "so the Chinese positive role is obvious."

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


Related Stories