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Kazakhstan Rolls Out Domestic COVID-19 Vaccine

People wait their turn before entering a vaccination center in a shopping mall in Almaty on April 14.

Kazakhstan has rolled out its locally developed vaccine against COVID-19, with Health Minister Aleksei Tsoi receiving the first injection.

Tsoi said that 50,000 doses of the QazVac vaccine developed by the state-backed Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems have been distributed across the country of nearly 19 million people.

QazVac requires two doses three weeks apart and can be stored in a regular refrigerator.

The vaccine is currently in its third stage of clinical trials, which are expected to be completed in July. Its developers claim the vaccine had a 96 percent efficacy in the second stage.

Tsoi said that 1-in-20 Kazakhstanis have been vaccinated against the coronavirus since the Central Asian country’s vaccination drive kicked off in February.

The Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine is dominating the vaccination effort in Kazakhstan.

As of April 26, Kazakh health authorities have registered more than 309,000 coronavirus cases, including 3,570 deaths. A total of 755 more deaths were registered as caused by atypical pneumonia with COVID-19 symptoms.

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