QARAGHANDY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan says it has started producing the Russian-developed Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine ahead of a mass vaccination project planned for early next year.
Kazakh Prime Minister Asqar Mamin on December 21 officially unveiled the Sputnik-V vaccine production line at a pharmaceutical complex in the central city of Qaraghandy.
The government's press service said that the mass vaccination plan for Kazakhstan will start in February, with medical personnel, teachers, students, law enforcement officers, and people representing higher-risk groups first in line.
It added that the vaccinations are voluntary.
The vaccine, which has already been administered in Russia to health-care workers and other high-risk groups, has not yet been evaluated by the European Union’s drug regulator.
As of December 21, the number of coronavirus cases in Kazakhstan was 147,236, including 2,147 deaths.