‘Covid-free’ North Korea orders two million doses of Oxford vaccine

North Korea has ordered almost two million doses of a coronavirus vaccine, despite the country being officially Covid free.

The hermit state claims it has yet to record a single case of the deadly virus, but according to the COVAX vaccine-sharing programme, it has allocated 1,992,000 doses of the jab for the first half of 2021.

The supply of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab will come from the 240 million doses licensed to the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer.

Last year North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un hailed the country's "shining success" in dealing with the pandemic, saying they had "prevented the inroad of the malignant virus and maintained a stable situation".

North Korea swiftly closed its borders and put thousands into isolation as the virus swept across the globe, although analysts claim it is "unlikely" that the reclusive state has no Covid cases.

In December 2020 it was reported that Kim and his family were given an experimental coronavirus vaccine by the Chinese.

COVAX secures vaccines for poorer countries.

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North Korea is one of only two countries with a land border not to have reported a single case of coronavirus to the World Health Organisation. The only other one is Turkmenistan.

There has been a lot of doubt cast on both North Korea and Turkmenistan's claims that they are Covid-free due to the countries reputations for suppressing information and heavy state censorship.

Kim's decision to seal its border with China is thought to have had a devastating impact on the hermit state's already fragile economy.

North Korea's reclusive nature had led to doubts about whether it would participate in the global vaccination effort with reports it was even developing its own Covid-19 vaccine with information hacked from foreign scientists.

According to data from John Hopkins University, there have been 105 million coronavirus cases worldwide, with a death toll of 2.28 million.

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