MOSCOW — Vaccination against COVID-19 kicked off in Uzbekistan, one of the last in the region to begin inoculating its population.
Authorities hope to immunize 4 million people, or nearly 12% of the 34.6-million population, between April and June, Uzbekistan’s Health Minister Abdukhakim Khadzhibayev told local media.
Uzbekistan has received 660,000 doses of the AstraZeneca shot through the COVAX global vaccine sharing program and 1 million doses of a vaccine developed by the Chinese drug maker Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical. The Chinese jab is still undergoing large studies to prove it is safe and effective. Uzbekistan’s authorities in talks with Russia over importing 1 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
Uzbekistan has reported more than 83,000 coronavirus cases and 643 confirmed deaths during the pandemic.