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Afghanistan is waiting for new deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines amid a surge in infections with a third wave of the pandemic.
The country’s Health Ministry spokesman Dastagir Nazari told dpa on Monday that the process of vaccinating new people has been stopped in the country.
Only individuals who have had the first shot are currently receiving jabs.
The country with an estimated population of 37 million has so far received 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India and another 468,000 doses from the international vaccine-sharing programme COVAX.
The doses were used to vaccinate health workers, members of the armed forces, teachers and media staff.
The country is expected to receive another 700,000 doses of vaccines from China “in the near future,” but there is no exact date for the deliveries, Nazari said.
Afghanistan is struggling to receive vaccines for the entire population.
The country is supposed to receive vaccines for a fifth of the population through COVAX. 
For another 28 percent of the population, Kabul has the budget to buy vaccines itself, Nazari said.
The government was trying to get vaccines as soon as possible.
However, he added, “like the majority of the underdeveloped countries,” Afghanistan was confronted with the problem that there is massive global vaccine demand.
Recently, the country witnessed a surge in new infections with the virus.  Currently, of 1,500 intensive care beds for the whole country 72 percent are already occupied by patients, according to the official.
The Health Ministry on Sunday reported 929 new cases and 25 deaths for the past 24 hours.
A total of 71,690 cases and 2,944 deaths have been officially recorded in the country since the start of the outbreak.
The actual number of infections is believed to be much higher due to limited public health resources and testing capacities.
Only 469,099 tests have been conducted for an estimated population of around 37 million.
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