Nur-Sultan, Apr 26 (EFE).- Kazakhstan on Monday began the mass vaccination of its population against Covid-19 with its own locally developed drug, QazVac, authorities in the Central Asian country announced.
“Health Minister Aleksei Tsoi was one of the first to receive the national vaccine QazVac,” his ministry said in a statement.
His vaccination was broadcast live on television and social media.
The first batch of the drug — of 50,000 doses — was produced by the Kazakh Research Institute of Biological Security.
Production is expected to be increased to 500,000-600,000 doses per month.
Preclinical trials of the Kazakh vaccine began in May 2020, two months after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
Subsequent tests, according to results published in local media, showed 96% efficacy for QazVac, a vaccine made with inactivated virus.
Nur-Sultan is now in negotiations with Turkey to package part of its vaccines, and a new plant is being built in the region of Jambyl in southeastern Kazakhstan.
There have been more than 362,000 cases of Covid-19 and 3,315 people have died from the disease in Kazakhstan.
Vaccination in the largest country in Central Asia with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine started on February 1, and to date approximately 900,000 people have been immunized.