DUBAI 26 April 2021: Kazakhstan has joined the select number of countries that have produced and made available an indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev tweeted on Friday, 23rd April, 2021.
The first batch of QazVac vaccine had been dispatched to several regions of the country, he added in his tweet.
“Vaccine production will be increased to make it available to all citizens. Kazakhstan has become one of the few states that has created its own vaccine. I thank the scientists and all the specialists who participated in its development,” the president said.
Last October, it was Tokayev who gave instructions for the development of the indigenous vaccine.
Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister, Yeraly Tugzhanov, took part in dispatching the first batch of QazVac (QazCovid-in) against the COVID-19, reports the press office of the prime minister.
On 23rd April, Tokayev commented on the progress on his Twitter account. “The delivery of the QazVac vaccine to the regions of the country has started. We will increase domestic vaccine production for it to be available to all citizens. Kazakhstan is one of the few countries in the world able to produce its own vaccine. Thank you to all the scientists and specialists who developed the vaccine!” he said.
Tugzhanov noted that all the orders of the president on the issue of the vaccine, which were first given last October, are being implemented.
The first 50,000 doses will be distributed to the SK-Pharmacy hubs and delivered to the regional health management warehouses across the country. Vaccination of the population with QazVac is set to begin on 26th April, 2021. Another 50,000 doses are planned to be issued in May. Further production will gradually increase between 500,000 and 600,000 doses per month.
The vaccination against the coronavirus started on 1st February in Kazakhstan. The nation currently uses Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, which is manufactured at the Karaganda pharmaceutical plant.
As of today, vaccinations have reached 823,498 people with the first-dose and 132,603 with the full vaccination, according to the Kazakh Ministry of Healthcare.
Almaty continues to lead the vaccinated population rating with 162,635 first-dose vaccinated. Almaty region (111,831), Nur-Sultan (78,174), Karaganda region (76,069) and Shymkent (73,815) follow.
Apart from Cuba, all the other countries that have developed COVID-19 vaccines, including the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and India, have significantly larger economies and population sizes.
The QazVac is a product of the Research Institute for Biological Safety, according to the prime minister’s press service.
Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov, who took part in the shipment of the first batch of QazVac to the Zhambyl region, was quoted as saying that the creation of the vaccine allowed Kazakhstan to become one of the few countries in the world to develop an indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, proving the strong potential of domestic science.
Earlier, the Director-General of the Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems, Kunsulu Zakarya, said Kazakhstan’s vaccine had 100 percent efficacy in the first stage of clinical trials and 96 percent efficacy in the second stage of clinical trials.
Kazakhstan has a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases, possibly as the result of stringent measures. On Friday, the number of cases totaled 300,733, with 3,512 deaths, while some 257,278 people have recovered.