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What About Covid-19 Vaccination in Kyrgyzstan? Here’s the Explanation

Since the end of last year, officials have discussed this issue, yet with little details. We have tried to find out what is known about this complicated topic so far.

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It has been more than a year since the moment of spread of SARS-CoV-2 (known more as coronavirus or Covid-19) around the world. While Kyrgyzstan continued to record mass mortality of citizens from the virus last year, some industrially developed countries of the planet have worked over development of the vaccine at a rapid pace. Since December 2020, the United States, Russia, China, Germany, United Kingdom and some other countries have announced successful development of their own vaccines and started the vaccination programme for their citizens. These types of vaccines are actively purchased by other developed states and the vaccination programme is actively implemented on all five continents of the planet.

Since the end of 2020, Kyrgyzstan has carried on conversations about vaccination, sometimes contradictory, with little details. Here’s more or less detailed information about this issue known so far.

When will the country start vaccination?

Vaccination in Kyrgyzstan will not start until June 2021. This is the statement made by ex-vice prime minister Elvira Surabaldieva on her Twitter account.

Currently, the nation’s leadership is studying the vaccines to be supplied both free of charge and for a fee. The vaccination will be held in three stages. At the first stage, the vaccine will be available for:

– medical workers with high and very high risk of infection working in red zone, groups of family practitioners, family medicine centres;

– medical workers of ambulances, intensive care units with high risk of development of severe diseases or death;

– medical workers and the staff of long-term care facilities, as well as social demographic group with very high risk of development of severe diseases;

– teachers of educational institutions, schools, and workers of law-enforcement and security agencies;

– workers of service, trade and catering industries.

At the second stage, vaccination is planned for persons:

– at the age of 60 and older;

– under 60 years old with clinical risk factors, chronic diseases;

– socially vulnerable groups of people.

At the third stage, vaccination will be continued at the expense of the state and donor organisations among people.

What is the name of the vaccine for the Kyrgyzstanis?

The ministry of health, under the COVAX programme, requested the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. In March, the country will receive 504 thousand doses of the vaccine.

The vaccination will cover 20 per cent of Kyrgyzstanis. 40 per cent of the total number of vaccines will be supplied in the first quarter, and the remaining part – in the second quarter of 2021.

Another vaccine requested by the government is the Russian Sputnik V in the amount of 500 thousand doses. But the Russian government has not replied yet.

The third vaccine will be supplied by China. It was announced by the ambassador of China to Kyrgyzstan at the meeting with the officials of the foreign ministry. It is yet unknown which vaccine and in what quantity will be supplied to the republic. But the most known Chinese vaccines are the vaccines of three pharmaceutical companies: Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino.

Do all need the vaccine? What if I don’t get vaccinated?

In Kyrgyzstan, just like in any other country of the world, vaccination is not mandatory.

At the press conference in Bishkek at the end of June, minister of health Alymkadyr Beishenaliev said that Covid-19 vaccination will be voluntary.

“In all countries, for example, Russia, America and others, people register voluntarily. Later on, we will involve private medical centres where all those who want can get vaccinated. No one will be forced to get vaccinated,” Beishenalieva said, according to 24.kg.

How much will the vaccine cost?

The vaccine received under the COVAX programme will be free of charge. This was announced in January by the head of the Public Health Office of the ministry of health, Ainura Akmatova.

Kyrgyzstan decided in favour of the Oxford vaccine, which will be given to medical workers, teachers, law enforcement officers.

The cost of vaccines available for the rest of people is to be determined.

In most of the countries, vaccination is free of charge, including Russia. Those who want to get vaccinated in a western country will need to pay 5 (AstraZeneka) to 74 dollars (Moderna).

Which vaccines are available now? What are their peculiarities?

According to the World Health Organisation, currently over 200 candidate vaccines (56 in clinical and 166 in preclinical development) are being developed, many of which are tested in clinical trials. Some of candidate vaccines are at the 3rd stage of clinical trials – the final stage before the vaccine approval.

The most famous vaccines are Moderna, Pfizer, Sputnik V, AstraZeneka. Let’s see each in detail.

Pfizer – the first vaccine permitted in December 2020 for use by the European Union and the first one officially approved by WHO. Terms of storage: -70 degrees; upon defrost it can be used within five days. The vaccination contains two stages with the three week interval. No serious side effects have been found, according to the manufacturer. The only side effects were fatigue (3.8%) and headache (2%) of the third degree of severity with frequency over 2 per cent.

It is manufactured in two countries: Germany and Belgium. Volumes of production: 2 billion doses in 2021.

The cost of a dose of Pfizer vaccine for the United States is 19.5 dollars or 39 dollars for the administration of two components.

Pfizer was offered to Kyrgyzstan, but the ministry of health found it unreasonable to supply it. The country does not have required refrigerating equipment to provide -70 degrees storage, which will require about 2 million dollars.

Moderna – American vaccine with 94.5 per cent efficiency. The vaccine is injected in two stages with four weeks interval. It can be stored up to 30 days at a temperature +2 to +8 degrees. This year, Moderna isplanning to produce 600 million doses.

The vaccine is permitted for use in the United States, Canada, Israel, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Sputnik V – a vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Russian Centre jointly with the ministry of defence of Russia. The efficiency of the vaccine is 92 per cent.

The vaccine in injected intramuscularly in two stages with 21-28 day interval.

The cost of the vaccine for international markets will be under 10 dollars per dose from February 2021 or less than 20 dollars for two doses required for the vaccination.

AstraZeneca – a vector vaccine developed in the United Kingdom, uses genetically modified adenovirus of a chimpanzee. The vaccine is stable under the domestic refrigerator temperature and costs 3 to 4 dollars per dose. The vaccine should be administered in 2 stages and is approved by the United Kingdom and European Commission.

By the end of 2020, the company is going to produce about 200 million doses.
China is to provide vaccines to Kyrgyzstan. What are the available vaccines?

It’s unknown which vaccine will be supplied free of charge to the country. The most known are Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino.

Let’s see each of them in detail.

Sinopharm — the vaccine was made by a Chinese company and its efficiency is 79.34%. The result is based on the preliminary analysis of third-phase clinical trial data.

Currently, the UAE approved its use in case of emergency.

Sinopharm is undergoing clinical trials in a few countries: UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Peru and Argentina. The authorities of Bahrain and UAE have already approved the use of this vaccine, and the latter state reported its efficiency at the level of 86 per cent.

Sinovac is the second vaccine approved for the citizens of China. There is no exact data of its efficiency so far: various countries show various figures – from 65 to 90 per cent.

The Sinovac vaccine is permitted for emergency use in Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Uruguay and Laos.

The Sinovac Life Sciences division based in Beijing is expected to produce over 1 billion doses of the vaccine per year.

Ukraine has signed the supply agreement, and Thailand has expressed its intention to buy.

CanSino is a vector vaccine based on the adenovirus 5th type.

The third stage of trials is currently in progress in Pakistan, Russia, Mexico and Chile. The trials are also planned in Saudi Arabia. Since June 2020, the Chinese military are vaccinated with this vaccine. The efficiency data are not publicly available so far.
How is the situation with the neighbours in the region?

In Central Asian countries, except for Kazakhstan, vaccination has not begun.

From February 1, Kazakhstan started vaccination with Sputnik V. Later on, after February 15,  another drug produced on the base of Karaganda pharmaceutical complex will be added to vaccination. After quarter 2 of 2021, the domestic vaccine QazCovid-In is going to be administered. It is currently undergoing the 3rd phase of clinical trials.

See also:  What Should Kazakhstan Citizens Know About the Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccination?

According to the authorities, Uzbekistan is going to start vaccination at the end of February – early March. The country is going to use Pfizer and BioNTech, as well as certify the Russian Sputnik V.

Tajikistan is also the participant of the COVAX programme and is planning to supply the vaccines by the middle of 2021.

Turkmenistan is going to start vaccination in the mid of February. On January 18, 2021, the ministry of health and medical industry of Turkmenistan registered the Sputnik V vaccine and issued a relevant certificate.

Which countries have already started using the vaccines?

The vaccines are already being used in 57 countries of the world.

Russia started vaccination of certain categories of citizens on December 5, and the full-scale campaign started on January 18. The country uses domestic vaccines EpiVacCorona of Vector.

Starting from mid-December last year, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Israel started vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech. The United States use vaccines from Moderna.

Since the end of December, almost all countries of the European Union and Scandinavia, as well as the Persian Gulf, Mexico and Singapore started vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech.

China uses their own vaccines made by Sinopharm and Sinovac, as well as CanSino.

What are the results of vaccination?

According to the German Robert Koch Institute (RKI), it is still unknown whether the vaccinated people can infect others.

“The data available today do not allow to evaluate the efficiency of the mRNA vaccines in preventing or hindering the infection,” according to the official statement of the institute as of January 14.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) distinguishes the following side effects of the vaccines:

– headaches,

– fatigue,

– muscle pain,

– tiredness,

– joint pain,

– shivers,

– nausea and vomit,

– temperature rise,

– general uneasiness,

– node enlargement.
Have there been deaths from the vaccination?

Since the beginning of the vaccination, some western media have reported lethal outcomes after the vaccination.

More than 100 lethal cases have been reported, including:

Spain – 9 cases in the senior centre. As it was found out, all nine cases were caused by complications related to Covid-19. The infection was spread in the senior centre on the days when the vaccination started.

Norway – 30 residents of the senior centre. The pharmacovigilance risk assessment committee in its report specified that it “did not find any serious risks for security” and added that some chronic diseases in the vaccinated patients were a reasonable explanation of their deaths. In some cases, palliative care was provided to the patient before the vaccination, the report read.

Belgium – 14 deaths of the elderly people at the age of 70 to 90. According to the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products, the relations between these deaths and the vaccination were not found.

Peru – 1 death of a clinical trial participant. According to the Cayetano Heredia University, the deceased participant of clinical trials received a placebo not a vaccine.

Germany – 69 people. According to the Paul Ehrlich Institute, all the deceased but one did not complete the vaccination. Covid-19 was detected in them after the first vaccine.

“33 persons with a number of chronic diseases died from a sharp deterioration of the underlying ailment, or from another disease not related to vaccination. 10 patients died from another infectious disease, not from Covid-19. In all other cases, the patients had severe chronic diseases such as cancers, kidney failure, heart ailments, arteriosclerosis, which became the main cause of death,” the report read.

Why do we need a vaccine at all?

Vaccines contain weakened or inactivated particles of a specific microorganism (antigen) that trigger an immune response within the body. The new vaccines contain a programme to generate antigens, not the antigens themselves. Whether the vaccine is made from the antigen itself or if it contains a programme for the body to produce the antigen, this weakened option will not cause illness in the person receiving the vaccine, but will cause their immune system to respond as it would when the pathogen first attacks.

Russian vaccines will be produced in Kyrgyzstan. Is it true?

On January 25, Zhyrgalbek Sagynbaev, the head of the State Committee for Energy and Industry (GPKEN), told Sputnik news agency that the country was considering the production of Russian vaccines.

But only provided that Kyrgyzstan identifies companies that have technical capabilities and meet production standards. Which vaccine will be produced in the country is yet unknown: Sputnik V or EpiVacCorona.

“The Russian party, in turn, will send its commission, and they will determine which companies are suitable. They will negotiate the terms themselves. We must create conditions and see that everything is within the law,” the official said during an online briefing.

Among Eurasian Economic Union countries, Russian vaccines will be produced in Kazakhstan and Belarus, and the third country to produce is Kyrgyzstan.

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