PYONGYANG – North Korea has requested that nearly three million Covid-19 syringes donated to it be diverted elsewhere, the UN says.
A spokesperson said the country had requested that the shooting be moved to more affected countries amid global vaccine shortages.
As of August 19, North Korea had not recorded any cases of Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Chinese-made Sinovac injections have been offered under the Covax program, which aims to help poorer countries get vaccinated.
About 37,291 people – including healthcare workers and people with flu-like illnesses – had been tested and all were negative, the WHO said in its weekly situation report.
The mysterious nation has imposed strict anti-virus measures since the start of the pandemic. It was one of the first countries to close its borders in January last year.
This is not the first time that the country has refused vaccines. In July, it refused shipments of around two million cans of the AstraZeneca splash, citing concerns about possible side effects, a South Korean think tank linked to the intelligence agency said from the country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in July that he had repeatedly offered to supply North Korea with its own Sputnik vaccine.
North Korea has raised doubts about the effectiveness of vaccinations against Covid-19, with state media frequently reporting incidents in the United States and Europe of people suffering side effects from vaccinations.