UNICEF opens largest Central Asia vaccine warehouse in Uzbekistan

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Tashkent [Uzbekistan]: The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Saturday opened the largest warehouse for multitemperature storage of vaccines for the region of Central Asia in Uzbekistan.
“Today, on World Children’s Day, UNICEF handed over the Republican Cold Chain Warehouse, the largest vaccine facility in Central Asia, to the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan. The opening of this new facility, which will allow storing large numbers of vaccines with different temperature requirements including ultra-cold temperatures,” UNICEF Uzbekistan said. UNICEF assisted the Uzbek health ministry with equipping the facility with three cold rooms of 1,000 cubic meters (35,315 cubic feet), ultracold freezers with 3,000-litre capacity (792 gallons), freezers of 40 cubic meters, and dry storage for immunization supplies.
“We expect this warehouse to become a logistics hub for the entire national immunization programme, and to multiply our capacity to supply and manage vaccines,” Uzbek Health Minister Behzod Musaev said, as quoted in the UNICEF statement.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, UNICEF has sent 223 vehicles for vaccine transportation, as well as vaccination syringes to Uzbekistan. In September, the fund delivered eight ultracold freezers for Pfizer vaccines storage. Additionally, Uzbekistan has received about 5.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses through the UN-led COVAX program, which makes vaccine shots available to low- and mid-income countries at the expense of higher-income countries.
On April 1, Uzbekistan launched the COVID-19 vaccination drive. Since then, over 15 million people have received at least one shot, which corresponds to 70 per cent of all adults. In late September, the Uzbek authorities approved Pfizer vaccine for teenagers over 12, and over 330 adolescents have been voluntarily vaccinated against COVID-19 to date.

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