Eastern Europe

Kyrgyzstan refuses over 1 million doses of free Pfizer vaccine

12:57, 19 January 2021
Kyrgyzstan refuses over 1 million doses of free Pfizer vaccine Photo: Arne Dedert/dpa

Kyrgyzstan has refused to accept a free batch of Pfizer - BioNTech coronavirus vaccine offered by the US due to difficulties in storing the drug.

Special refrigeration equipment is needed to store the vaccine, but it is not available in the country, Kyrgyz Health Minister Alymkadyr Beishenaliev said.

We were offered the American Pfizer vaccine. However, the vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees. They wanted to give us over a million doses for free. Though, we need special refrigerators for its transportation and storage. But we don't have such refrigerators, the Kyrgyz health minister said.

According to the minister, his country would need to spend $2 million to purchase the necessary equipment for storing the American drug. He noted that Kyrgyzstan's budget is not ready at this stage to allocate such funds, RIA Novosti reported.

At the moment, Bishkek is negotiating with Russia on the supply of a vaccine. It is enough to maintain the temperature in the range from –2 to –18 degrees Celsius for storage of the Russian jab.

Large-scale production of Russia's EpiVacCorona coronavirus vaccine will begin in February, NEWS.ru earlier reported citing the Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova.