Despite Slight Decrease in New Cases, Kazakh Healthcare Minister Urges People to Get Vaccinated, Follow Safety Measures

NUR-SULTAN – The COVID-19 incidence rate has decreased by 23 percent over the past two weeks, reported Kazakh Minister of Healthcare Alexei Tsoy at the government meeting on Nov. 16.

Some 339 people were vaccinated with Pfizer on the first day of vaccination on Nov.15, according to the city’s public health department in Nur-Sultan. Photo credit: Nur-Sultan Mayor’s Office.

According to global statistics, Kazakhstan ranks 105th in the morbidity rate of COVID-19, and 101st in the mortality rate out of 222 countries.

As of Nov.16, the Pavlodar and North Kazakhstan regions remain in the red zone, while five regions (Nur-Sultan, Atyrau, Akmola, Karaganda, and Kostanay regions) are in the yellow zone and the other regions are in the green zone.

Tsoy noted that the incidence rate has decreased by 3.8 times, and the mortality rate by 2.4 times nationwide over the past two months. 

The vaccination campaign also continues in the country. “More than 8.5 million people received the first dose and approximately 7.8 million people have been fully vaccinated,” said Tsoy.

Kazakhstan ranks 104th in the share of the fully vaccinated population out of 207 countries where the vaccination takes place and has reached vaccination coverage of more than 41.5 percent of the population. 

Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan have achieved a vaccination coverage rate of more than 40 percent in the CIS. 

The minister recalled that Kazakhstan received the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY) vaccine on Nov. 10. The dispatch of the second batch is scheduled for Nov. 20. “The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is available in seven regions including the Zhambyl, Karaganda, Kyzylorda, Turkistan regions and Almaty, Nur-Sultan, and Shymkent cities,” he added. 

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is available for children aged 12 and older, and to pregnant and breastfeeding women for free. 

The ministry is also developing a draft resolution on the availability of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on a paid basis and recommendations on revaccination.   

The ministry reported that the morbidity analysis shows that the large percentage of patients with severe cases are unvaccinated ones.

Since Feb.1, the share of unvaccinated to the number of registered patients is almost 95 percent, while the share of vaccinated with COVID-19 cases is only 5 percent. Nearly 96 percent of unvaccinated, sick people are now receiving artificial lung ventilation treatment. 

The minister also called for people to get vaccinated. “This is the only way to protect not only our health, but also the health of our relatives and colleagues.”

As of Nov.15, the passports and certificates of COVID vaccination issued in Argentine, Hungary, Georgia, Iran, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mongolia, Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Peru, San Marino, Serbia, Tunisia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey and Estonia are valid in Kazakhstan.

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