No one is safe until everyone is safe

More COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Syria

01 February 2022
Unicef staff in a vaccine storage room
UNICEF/Syria/2022/Rami Nader

More than three million doses of single-shot COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Syria, through the COVAX facility, at the end of January 2022. The vaccines, donated by the Governments of Italy and Spain, will help to increase the COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the country.

elder woman receiving a vaccine by a health worker under observation of a UNICEF staff member
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Delil Suleiman

The vaccine coverage in Syria is among the lowest in the world. Just over 2,2 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 have been administered in Syria to date. As of 24 January 2022, only 5.1 per cent of the total population have been fully vaccinated, most with two doses, and 10 per cent have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

UNICEF staff member entering cooling storage room
UNICEF/Syria/2022/Rami Nader

The donated vaccines arrive at a critical moment. They can be stored and transported using standard equipment for routine vaccines. This enables distribution to remote areas and provides an opportunity to vaccinate hard-to-reach populations in the country with a single dose. Frontline workers, elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions continue to be prioritized with the vaccination.

Elder man receiving a vaccine by a health worker

“This donation from the Government of Italy is incredibly timely and important in our fight against the pandemic. Unless we protect health workers and other frontline workers, health systems will continue to be overstretched and the most vulnerable women and children will lose access to life-saving services, jeopardizing years of progress and culminating in the poorest children falling behind,” said UNICEF Syria Representative, Bo Viktor Nylund.

Elder woman in a tent receiving a vaccine by a health worker
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Delil Suleiman

UNICEF and WHO will continue to support efforts to deliver the vaccines safely through cold chain management; supporting vaccinators in fixed facilities and mobile teams; increasing testing and lab capacity to detect COVID-19 cases and prevent the further spread of the pandemic; and boosting public knowledge and confidence in vaccines.