Tajikistan becomes first country in Central Asia to receive COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX Facility

09 March 2021
covid-19 vaccines arrive in Tajikistan
UNICEF Tajikistan/2021/ M. Ruziev
192,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 09 March 2021 – Today Tajikistan received via the COVAX Facility, 192,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine. This is the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility to arrive in Central Asia and the second such shipment to the WHO European Region.

This is a historic step towards COVAX’s goal of ensuring equitable distribution of at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, and will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in ever. The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a collaborative framework for global COVID-19 response efforts. COVAX, its vaccine pillar, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner, UNICEF. The ACT Accelerator is supported by the European Union and its Member States, the World Bank, civil society organizations, and many others.

The initial consignment of vaccines received by Tajikistan will support the vaccination of health care workers to keep them safe, so they can continue providing life-saving services and maintain a functional health care system. Vaccination will be then be rolled out by the Ministry of Health prioritising the most at- risk segments of the population – the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions or comorbidities – marking the first phase of the nationwide vaccination campaign.

 “WHO is pleased to be a key partner in ensuring that safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines reach Tajikistan. Vaccination will be a vital tool in our fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the continued wearing of masks, hand washing, physically distancing and avoiding of crowds. By utilizing all of these measures together, we can build a strong defense against this disease,” added Dr Victor Stefan Olsavszky, WHO Representative in Tajikistan.

"Vaccination will be a vital tool in our fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the continued wearing of masks, physically distancing and avoiding of crowds. By utilizing all of these measures together, we can build a strong defense against this disease”

“No one is safe unless all of us are safe. Our sincere gratitude to all partners – Gavi, WHO, CEPI, the European Union, the Government of UK and all other development partners involved in an unprecedented engagement and partnership to develop and distribute safe and efficacious vaccines. The arrival of the vaccine in Tajikistan signifies hope, but the battle is not yet finished – UNICEF, alongside partners, will remain committed to support the Government of Tajikistan to tackle COVID-19 and other preventable diseases,” said Mr Osama Makkawi Khogali, UNICEF Representative in Tajikistan.

"The arrival of the vaccine in Tajikistan signifies hope, but the battle is not yet finished"

For several months, COVAX partners have been supporting governments and their partners in readiness efforts, in preparation for this moment. They have been especially active in working with some of the world’s poorest countries: those that will benefit from the Advance Market Commitment (AMC), an innovative financial mechanism to help secure global and equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines. This includes assisting with the development of national vaccination plans, supporting cold chain infrastructure, as well as stockpiling of half a billion syringes and safety boxes for their disposal, masks, gloves and other equipment to ensure that there is enough equipment for health workers to start vaccinating priority groups as soon as possible.


For further information, please contact:

Press office, WHO Regional Office for Europe via  eupress@who.int

Shuhratjon Sharipov, Communications Officer, UNICEF, via ssharipov@unicef.org or +992939144010

Emomali Mirzoev, MOHSPP Press Secretary via ehson.89@mail.ru or +992 946404040


*Notes to Editors

List of donor pledges to the Gavi COVAX AMC is available here.

Interactive funding tracker for the ACT Accelerator, which includes details of funding for COVAX, can be found here.

Photos are available here.



COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

About CEPI

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has moved with great urgency and in coordination with WHO in response to the emergence of COVID-19. CEPI has initiated 11 partnerships to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The programmes are leveraging rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as new partnerships.

About Gavi

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 822 million children – and prevented more than 14 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About WHO

The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.
For updates on COVID-19 and public health advice to protect yourself from coronavirus, visit www.who.int, www.euro.who.int and follow WHO on TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedInTikTok,  PinterestSnapchatYouTube 

Media contacts

Shuhratjon Sharipov
Communications Officer
UNICEF Tajikistan
Tel: +992 939144010
Tel: +992 907437588


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. UNICEF operates in Tajikistan since 1993. 

To receive more information about UNICEF and our work in Tajikistan, please visit https://www.unicef.org/tajikistan/

Follow UNICEF on FacebookInstagram and Twitter