Uzbekistan Receives First Batch of Covid-19 Vaccines
660,000 doses of WHO-approved AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in Tashkent.
Mr. Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan along with the representatives of the Ministry of Health was at the airport in the early morning on March 17 to receive Uzbekistan’s first batch of Covid-19 vaccines – 660,000 doses of WHO-approved AstraZeneca vaccines.
The vaccines were transferred to a cold chain facility in Tashkent City built with the support of GAVI and UNICEF.
On the same day, Mr. Mammadzade led the handover of the vaccines to the government of Uzbekistan. Representatives of MoH, UN agencies and ambassadors of the COVAX donor countries attended and spoke on the importance of the initiative in resolving the economic and social hardships caused by COVID-19.
Ambassadors from the US, UK, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Head of the EU delegation all expressed their satisfaction at having had the opportunity to contribute to the effort and highlighted the hard work that went into procuring these vaccines. Representatives of UNICEF, WHO and The World Bank also expressed their thanks to fellow members and donors.
In his speech Deputy Health Minister Bakhodir Yusupaliev stressed that bringing the vaccines in is one thing but making sure it is done correctly is even more important. The cold chain storage facility has a dry room full of personal protective equipment and the syringes needed to administer the doses. Two large cold storage units and a backup generator ensure that the vaccines will be kept at the correct temperature.
“This is a historic step towards our goal to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally,” said Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan.“Equitable and fair access to vaccines is a key element in ending the pandemic, and we must ensure that vaccines are available for all.”
The 660,000 doses consignment is part of the COVAX allocation of 2,256,000 doses to Uzbekistan under the COVAX Facility, with the remainder being delivered in the coming few months.