Sept 1 (Reuters) - North Korea has rejected roughly three
million COVID-19 vaccine doses developed by China's Sinovac
Biotech, saying the shots should be sent to harder-hit
countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing
The agency, which helps deliver COVID-19 shots on behalf of
the COVAX scheme, told WSJ that North Korea's public health
ministry declined the shipment, citing the limited global supply
for vaccines and continuing virus surges elsewhere.
North Korea had in July rejected shipments of AstraZeneca's
COVID-19 vaccine due to concerns over side effects,
according to a South Korean think-tank.
The reclusive country has not reported any COVID-19 cases
and has imposed strict anti-virus measures, including border
closures and domestic travel curbs.
UNICEF did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for
"We continue to work with DPRK authorities to help respond
to the COVID-19 pandemic," a spokesperson for the Global
Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization alliance, one of the
organizations that co-leads COVAX, said in an emailed statement.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Sangmi Cha in
Seoul; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)