France donates Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK, 6 april 2023 – 20,160 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Kyrgyzstan as a donation from the Government of France. This is part of the global COVAX initiative aimed at providing booster doses for vaccinated populations. Gulbara Ishenapysova, the Director of the Republican Centre for Immunoprophylaxis at the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, hosted the vaccine handover ceremony with the participation of François Delahousse, Ambassador of France in the Kyrgyz Republic, and Christine Jaulmes, UNICEF Representative.
Before the arrival of vaccines, UNICEF supported the Republican Centre for Immunoprophylaxis to train 40 vaccinators on the management of Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine. The training included instruction on storage, handling, and administration of the new form of vaccines, which does not need diluents.
“I thank the Government of France and all our development partners, who are providing us with all possible assistance in the fight against COVID-19, for helping to immunize and improve the health of the population of Kyrgyzstan. The main goal of our work is to protect the population from a serious illness when infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, and significantly reduce the risk of infection. Reaching 70% vaccination of the total population will help bring us closer to herd immunity. I am sure that together we will be able to resist the coronavirus pandemic” said Gulbara Ishenapysova, Director of the Republican Centre for Immunoprophylaxis.
With support from UNICEF, specialized equipment was purchased, delivered and installed in the country. The specialized equipment is designed to store Pfizer vaccines at ultra-low temperatures down to -85°C, and international experts were engaged to install and verify the ultra-cold equipment in Kyrgyzstan.
“I am happy that France is again showing concretely its friendship and solidarity with the Kyrgyz Republic by donating these 20.160 booster doses of Pfizer vaccine for adults, sixteen months after it has donated 115.200 doses of the Moderna vaccine”, said Ambassador François Delahousse.
“World practice has shown that vaccination is one of the most effective methods of combating COVID-19. We would like to express our gratitude to the Government of France for its solidarity with Kyrgyzstan to increase vaccine coverage. Together with our partners, UNICEF remains committed to supporting the Government of Kyrgyzstan to ensure the availability and accessibility of vaccines,” said Christine Jaulmes, UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan.
As of January 2023, only 20.1 per cent of the population were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, way below the national target of 70 per cent set by WHO to be achieved by 2022. UNICEF will continue to support the government’s and partners’ efforts to increase COVID-19 and routine vaccine uptake, with an emphasis on reaching zero-dose children and missed communities irrespective of where they are.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.