Most residents of Christian village got Covid-19 jab

Baghdad, 2021: a center for Coronavirus vaccination. Media of the Iraqi Ministry of Health MOH

By Ammar Aziz in Ninewa

There is no vaccination center in the village of Batnaya, yet 80% of the area's population has received the corona vaccine.

The village of Batnaya is part of Tel Kaif District in the Ninewa Plains. Its residents are all Christians, where more than 1,100 families used to live, nearly half of them are still displaced following the brutal era of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS.

Asir Askariya Aziz, the mukhtar of the village, said, "80% of the current residents of the village have received the Corona vaccine, and this is a high percentage because people here are keen to receive the vaccine."

There is a health center in the village, but it does not include a section for vaccination against corona.

Aziz said the residents of the village go to Telskuf, Alqosh and Tel Kaif district health centers to receive the vaccine. “The distance is not close, but this did not affect the citizens' eagerness to receive the vaccine,".

 The nearest vaccination center is five kilometers from Batnaya and is located in the village of Telskuf, which is also an area inhabited by Christians and is part of the Tel Kaif district.

 “It is true that there is only one vaccination center in Telskuf, but this did not create any problem and citizens can easily obtain the vaccine,” said Naji Hormuz Boutros, the mayor of Telskuf village.

He added, "Health staff cooperate well with the people and constantly urge them to vaccinate themselves."


Ninewa, 2019: A group of Batnaya resident returned home after defeat of ISIS. KirkukNow 

Al-Qush sub-district is located in Tel Kaif district, 40 km north of Mosul. It includes 34 villages and three compounds while some of the residents of the district are still displaced.

Iraq has joined the inoculation race back in March by receiving a batch of 50,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines through COVAX, abbreviation for COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, which is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Over 1,400 families were living in the village of Telskuf, more than 80% them are displaced due to the destruction caused by the war against ISIS which controlled the area for two years, during which many houses, churches and public utilities were destroyed.

Walid Shamoun Telko, a resident of the village of Telskuf, told (KirkukNow), "We took the dose of the vaccine easily and without creating any crowding... A large number of residents of the area received the vaccine... except for those who are not convinced of it or suffer from some diseases."

“Although the infection rate has decreased, it is recommended that we get vaccinated."

tlsqof (4)
Ninewa Plains, 2019: One of the old neighborhoods of Telskuf. Ammar Aziz

Only one type of vaccine is available in Telskuf, which is Pfizer-BioNTech.

Bashar Hazem, supervisor of vaccination outlet in Telskuf, told KirkukNow, "In Telskuf, Batnaya and the surrounding areas, 60% of the citizens have received the Corona vaccine," noting that the residents of six other villages in the region, in addition to Batnaya, visit the only vaccination center in the Telskuf.

"Citizens can obtain the vaccine easily and in a short time, and the percentage of vaccinated people is increasing day by day," according to Hazem.

KirkukNow was not able to obtain a statistic of the number of people infected with Corona in those two villages, but the statistics of the Iraqi Ministry of Health indicate that more than 82,000 people were infected with the Corona virus throughout Ninewa province, more than a thousand of them died as a result of the virus, while over 780,000 people got Covid-19 jab.

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