Nur-Sultan:Kazakhstan has joined the list of countries that have produced and made available their own COVID-19 vaccine.
The country on Monday started administering its COVID-19 vaccine called QazVac. Health Minister Alexey Tsoy received his first dose of QazVac vaccine in a local outpatient clinic in the capital Nur-Sultan on Monday, Kazinform reported.
After being inoculated in a live broadcast, Tsoy said he feels good, adding they have started vaccinating the public in various parts of the country, Anadolu Agency reported.
The first 50,000 doses of the vaccine produced in Kazakhstan will be available by the end of April.
“In March 2020, the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Kazakhstan. On March 23, samples were taken from those who became ill, and biological properties, from which a virus identified as COVID-19 was isolated, were studied,” said the Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science in a statement.
The vaccine was registered by the World Health Organization as a candidate vaccine on May 15, 2020. The phase I clinical trials in September 2020 involved 44 volunteers, while a phase II clinical trial began on Oct. 17 with 200 volunteers.
On Dec. 19, the Kazakh Ministry of Healthcare granted permission for phase III clinical trials. 3000 people volunteered and were vaccinated with the QazCovid-in vaccine in the cities of Almaty and Taraz. No severe side effects or complaints were reported.
The vaccination against the coronavirus started on February 1 in Kazakhstan. The nation currently uses Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, which is manufactured at the Karaganda pharmaceutical plant.