The first batch of 546,000 doses of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Tajikistan today, following an Asian Development Bank (ADB) grant approved earlier this year, according to ADB Tajikistan Resident Mission (TJRM).

Later this month, additional doses of the vaccine will arrive for a total of 3,345,600 doses.  The Sinovac vaccines were delivered by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) facility.

“ADB’s vaccine support is an integral part of the development partner package helping the Government of Tajikistan implement its COVID-19 vaccination program,” said ADB Country Director for Tajikistan Shanny Campbell.  “ADB reaffirms its full commitment to help the country overcome this challenging time and achieve a sustainable economic recovery.”

The US$25 million ADB grant approved in June 2021 finances the procurement of vaccines with safety boxes and syringes, logistics to transport them to national, regional, and district health facilities around the country, and capacity-building for staff at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population to strengthen the vaccination program and conduct gender- and age-sensitive outreach and training.  ADB has partnered with UNICEF which is leading the global vaccine supply operation under the COVAX facility.

“UNICEF and the UN family welcome the donation of the COVID-19 vaccines by ADB via the COVAX facility which has arrived in Tajikistan today,” said Osama Makkawi Khogali, the UNICEF Representative in Tajikistan. “No one is safe unless all of us are safe.  The 3,345,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines donated by ADB will vaccinate over 1,5 million people, representing about 25% of the target population in Tajikistan.”

The ADB vaccine support project builds on ADB’s earlier support for Tajikistan’s COVID-19 response. This includes a $50 million grant approved in June 2020 to help fund the government’s comprehensive response plan and countercyclical measures; a US$2.5 million grant from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund approved last August to further support the government’s emergency response; and more than US$1 million in grants for urgent medical supplies and personal protective equipment for health care staff.

The Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac is behind the SinoVac COVID-19 vaccine, also known as CoronaVac vaccine.

On June 1, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) validated the CoronaVac vaccine for emergency use.  Sinovac has signed purchase agreements for 380 million doses from COVAX.

As of July 1, 2021, CoronaVac was the most widely used COVID-19 vaccine in the world, with 943 million doses delivered.  CoronaVac is being used in vaccination campaigns in various countries in Asia, South America, Central America, and Eastern Europe.

Recall, a batch of COVID-19 vaccines – 698,500 doses of COVISHIELD, the Indian analogue of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine – was delivered from India to Tajikistan on December 1 under the COVAX mechanism with the support from UNICEF.

COVISHIELD, manufactured by SIIPL was assessed under the WHO EUL procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety, efficacy, risk management plan (RMP) and programmatic suitability performed by WHO Vaccine Prequalification experts and evaluators from National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) from different countries and regions.

Tajikistan began COVID-19 vaccination campaign on March 23, 2021.

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population (MoHSPP) says 6,137,700 doses of five types of vaccines, including COVISHIELD, China’s CoronaVac, Russia’s Sputnik V and the United States’ Moderna and Pfizer, have been delivered to Tajikistan as of December 1, 2021.  

According to a MoHSPP, 3,206,063 (51.8 percent) people in Tajikistan have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 2,590,545 of them (44.5 percent) having received both doses, as of November 30, 2021.