KABUL, Afghanistan

Afghanistan has started administering COVID-19 vaccines to all citizens above the age of 18, the Health Ministry announced on Friday.

Designated health centers in all 34 provinces have started vaccinating citizens with the Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs, according to the ministry.

A spokesperson said health workers, teachers, public sector employees, nomads, and people above the age of 50 remain the top priority.

He added that the war-ravaged country expects 1.5 million vaccine doses in the coming months from the COVAX facility, a global initiative aimed at delivering vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.

Afghanistan started its first vaccinations toward the end of March and plans to cover at least 60% of the population by 2022.

Owing to limited resources, the country of some 39 million people has only conducted close to 380,000 COVID-19 tests to date.

The case count in Afghanistan currently stands at around 57,700, including over 2,500 deaths.

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