Tue, 02 Mar 2021

TASHKENT, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan may start the first stage of mass vaccination of its citizens against COVID-19 at the end of February or early March, an Uzbek health official said Wednesday.

Vaccination will start as soon as the country receives Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, Deputy Head of Uzbekistan's Sanitary-Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Service Botirjon Kurbanov told a local TV channel.

Earlier this week, Uzbek health officials said that the country will buy 100,000 doses of vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in cooperation with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

GAVI has already provided Uzbekistan with 17 large-capacity refrigerators and 206 minivans, said Kurbanov, adding that in the next stages other vaccines made by Russian and Chinese companies could be used.

Uzbekistan has started a phase-3 trial of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Chinese company Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical.

So far, the country has registered 78,163 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 620 deaths.

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