DUSHANBE -- The US government is continuing deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) on Monday (December 13) delivered an additional 153,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Tajikistan, the US Embassy in Tajikistan said in a statement.
Another shipment of 146,520 doses is set to arrive later this week for a total donation of 299,520 doses, it added.
The deliveries were made possible through COVAX, a global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
This week's deliveries will bring the total US government donation of Pfizer (823,680) and Moderna (1,622,500) vaccine doses in Tajikistan to 2,446,180, according to the statement.
Since March 2020, the United States has contributed more than $12 million in equipment and technical support to help Tajikistan battle COVID-19.
This support enabled Tajikistan to train public health and medical workers, acquire medical supplies and personal protective equipment, and upgrade labs, as well as supporting its vaccination efforts.
The United States will "continue partnering with Tajikistan to end the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigate its devastating social and economic impacts and improve preparedness to respond to future outbreaks", the statement said.
The recent Pfizer vaccine delivery to Tajikistan is part of the US government's commitment to donate 1.1 billion COVID-19 vaccines to the countries most in need -- safely, equitably and with no strings attached, it said.
To date, USAID has provided $5.7 billion to supply vaccines worldwide, with more coming.
"We are committed to ensuring Tajikistan reaches 70% full vaccination coverage by next September under the Biden administration's initiative of Vaccinate the World," said USAID/Tajikistan Mission Director Peter Riley, who noted that Tajikistan's vaccine campaign has already reached more than 40% of the country.
Assistance to Kyrgyzstan
The United States last Friday delivered an additional 49,140 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to Kyrgyzstan -- another gift enabled by COVAX.
"Availability of safe and effective vaccines is critical to defeating this pandemic. I hope that these vaccines will help protect the lives of [the Kyrgyz people] and prevent dangerous new variants from spreading," US Charge d'Affaires Sonata Coulter said in a statement
This delivery built on the 259,740 doses of Pfizer vaccines that the United States donated to Kyrgyzstan October 27.
"We're grateful to the US government and all of our development partners who are helping us in the fight against COVID-19," Kyrgyz Health Minister Alymkadyr Beishenaliyev said.
"Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines became available to [the Kyrgyz people] at the end of October and more than 30,000 people were vaccinated. We all need to realise that vaccination is one of the most effective ways to fight COVID-19 and get vaccinated," he said.
"I am confident that together we can fight the coronavirus pandemic."
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has provided more than $9 million to help Kyrgyzstan prevent, detect and treat COVID-19.
It also contributed funding to obtain protective equipment and medical supplies, upgrade labs and train public health workers.
The United States will "continue to partner with Kyrgyzstan to end the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigate its devastating social and economic impacts, and improve preparedness for any future outbreaks", the statement said.