UNICEF has assisted Uzbekistan in procuring functional ultra-cold chain storage for more than 1,200,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine donated by the US government.
“We are witnessing global solidarity in the fight against COVID-19, and grateful for provided support in combating COVID-19”, said Bakhodir Yusupaliev, head of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare and Public Health Service. “The newly arrived vaccines will be distributed across the country to all districts,” he added.
Further, outside the COVAX facility, UNICEF has procured and delivered eight ultra-low temperature freezers with a total storage capacity of 3,064 L, enough to store all 1,2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at -70° C, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended cold chain requirements. In addition, all relevant vaccination staff was trained on how to handle and administer the vaccine.
“This is a moment of pride that demonstrates that multilateralism and partnerships work. We applaud support from the US as it continues to share, donate and subsidize doses under COVAX,” said Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan. “Further as UNICEF in Uzbekistan, we have been working around the clock with partners to support the government with the cold chain facilities to store and distribute a variety of COVID-19 vaccines with different storage requirements.”
Uzbekistan is expecting additional doses of vaccines in the following months to help ramp up the speed of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program with the help of the COVAX facility. The goal of the COVAX Facility is to provide the world with the best chance at making safe, efficacious COVID-19 vaccines available and affordable to all countries worldwide regardless of income level.
Partners have been calling on COVID-19 vaccination as a critical element to the COVID 19 response and recovery of economies and a return to normalcy.
“The vaccines distributed through COVAX are very timely, especially with the reopening of schools. The donation made by the US government will help save lives. We must all work collectively by following public health and social measures and getting vaccinated when it's our turn to protect ourselves and avoid another COVID-19 surge,” said Lianne Kuppens, WHO Representative in Uzbekistan.