19:28 GMT28 February 2021
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    BISHKEK (Sputnik) - Kyrgyzstan has requested from Russia 500,000 doses of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Kyrgyz Health Minister Alymkadyr Beishenaliev said on Wednesday in an interview with the national Birinchi radio broadcaster.

    "The Kyrgyz leadership has sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin. We requested 500,000 doses of the vaccine", Beishenaliev said, adding that the country received the consent of the Russian health ministry and the issue will be resolved in the near future.

    According to the minister, the epidemiological situation in the country remains difficult and it is necessary to start mass vaccination to return to normal life.

    The Pfizer logo is seen at the Pfizer Inc. headquarters on December 9, 2020 in New York City
    © AFP 2021 / ANGELA WEISS
    The Pfizer logo is seen at the Pfizer Inc. headquarters on December 9, 2020 in New York City

    On Tuesday, Beishenaliev said that Kyrgyzstan did not intend to take the shipment of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, as the country lacked the suitable refrigerators to store the vaccine. According to the minister, one refrigerator capable of maintaining the needed temperature costs about $4,000. Another $2 million is needed to store the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, he added.

    Since the outbreak of the coronavirus early last year, Kyrgyzstan has confirmed 83,430 infections, including 1,392 fatalities.

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