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UNHCR Asia and the Pacific COVID-19 External Update (9 November 2021)

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9.8 million Persons of concern

4.2 million Refugees and Asylum seekers

3.5 million Internally displaced persons

158,000 Returnees

2.3 million Stateless persons


  • In Iran, the Ministry of Health and COVAX countersigned their agreement for the supply of 1.6 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from the Humanitarian Buffer, paving the way for delivery of the airlift in the week of 22 November 2021.

  • In Bangladesh, following the trend in the previous month, the COVID-19 test positivity and death rate significantly decreased in both the refugee camps and the host community in Cox’s Bazar district since August 2021. With authorities lifting lockdown measures, all humanitarian activities were permitted to resume in the camps from 9 September, and learning centres partially reopened on 22 September.

  • After more than a year of COVID-19 lockdown, the Indonesian government has lifted several restrictions in the Java-Bali region following a reduction in the COVID-19 indicators since September. Bali will welcome international arrivals from 14 October 2021 after more than a year of COVID-19 lockdown, as well as the Riau Islands. Both provinces have among the highest vaccination coverage in Indonesia.


  • In Afghanistan, nearly a quarter of refugee and asylum-seekers families received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In October, however, no new refugee and asylum-seekers have been vaccinated due to the lack of availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

  • In Iran, close to 500,000 foreign nationals – including refugees and undocumented Afghans - have been vaccinated.

  • In Bangladesh, the COVID-19 vaccination drive was postponed due to the ongoing Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) vaccination in the camp. Once complete, the COVID-19 vaccination campaign will resume in December. So far, 33,386 refugees aged 55 years and older have been fully vaccinated.

  • As of 5 October, Indonesia reached the 150 million mark in COVID-19 vaccine shots administered. The single dose vaccination rate amongst the elderly in Java and Bali reached 40 per cent as of 10 October, an increase of 8% compared to the previous month.

  • Vaccination for migrants and refugees have continued in all states across Malaysia. While large vaccination centres are expected to close down by the end of October, access to vaccinations would still be available via government primary care clinics and selected private general practitioners throughout the country. UNHCR, through its partner, has commenced the provision of vaccinations to 12-17 year-olds, including refugees, at their primary care clinic.

  • Thailand has fully vaccinated almost 45% of its population (some 32 million individuals). By the end of October, 12,628 refugees have been vaccinated in refugee camps, including 2,495 who were fully vaccinated and 9,747 who received the first dose. 450 urban refugees have been fully vaccinated and 64 have received the first dose. Moreover, over 6,000 stateless have received their first dose.