Myanmar’s COVID Response Is Collapsing

As Myanmar’s national COVID-19 response collapses following a 1 February military coup, one ethnic armed organisation in the country’s north has quietly vaccinated 20,000 people in areas it governs, with support from across the border in China.

The vaccines, produced by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech, were supplied and administered with assistance from the Red Cross Society of China, a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. 

The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) is one of approximately 20 ethnic armed organisations operating along Myanmar’s borders with China, Thailand and India. Several of them have run their own COVID-19 responses from early on in the pandemic.

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