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Kazakhstan begins rollout of homegrown QazVac vaccine – The Guardian

27 April 2021 14:21

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - Kazakhstan has rolled out its homegrown coronavirus vaccine, with the central Asian country’s health minister receiving the jab on live television. QazCovid-in, also known as QazVac, is a two-shot vaccine that is in third-stage trials, The Guardian reports.

Agence France-Presse reports that state broadcaster Khabar said 50,000 doses of the vaccine developed by the state-backed Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems have been distributed across the country.

Health minister Alexei Tsoi told Khabar he felt «well» after receiving his shot and said the government was negotiating with partners in Turkey to produce future batches of the vaccine.

In a tweet last week, Kazakhstan’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev hailed the former Soviet republic’s achievement in becoming «one of the few states» to develop and produce a national vaccine.

Kazakhstan became the first foreign country to produce Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine earlier this year, and the Russian jab has dominated the mass inoculation drive in the nation of nearly 19 million people.

Health minister Tsoi told Khabar that «one in 20» Kazakh citizens have been vaccinated against the coronavirus since the campaign began in February.