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S. Korea to give 1.1 million doses of AZ vaccines to Iran

South Korea is providing COVID-19 vaccines to Iran, as the country looks to use them as diplomatic leverage with formidable progress in the nationwide vaccination scheme.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Monday that Korea will deliver 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca this month.

The vaccines will arrive in Iran on Wednesday as a means to celebrate the 60-year relationship between Korea and Iran. The government said it has been discussing providing the vaccines to Iran with a philanthropic aim to help the international community raise its vaccination rate.

Korea has been upfront in sharing its supply of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries upon nearing and reaching its vaccination target for herd immunity and return to normalcy.

By Sunday’s end, the number of fully vaccinated people in Korea reached 35.9 million, or 70.1 percent. More than 40.7 million people have received their first shots of COVID-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, in recent weeks Korea has signed deals to provide 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam and 470,000 doses to Thailand.

By Ko Jun-tae (