Almaty Is Going to Increase Reach of People Eligible for Vaccination

The decision was made due to new COVID-19 variants

The number of residents eligible for vaccination in the largest city in Kazakhstan will be increased from 1.09 million to 1.3 million, according to Erzhan Babakumarov, a deputy mayor of the city.

Currently, there are 1.09 million people in Almaty who are eligible for vaccination. So far 886,639 people here (77%) are fully vaccinated, as the recent official data shows. However, the authorities want more people to get their two shots.

«We expect the Pfizer vaccine to get in our hands at the end of October. Also, as the city’s authorities, we believe that we need to get vaccinated not 1.09 million people as we thought before but 1.3 million. So, we need to reach about 300,000 or 400,000 more citizens with vaccines, which would help us make out city safe,» the official said.

According to Babakumarov, this step is crucial given the growing number of new COVID-19 variants.

«The recent research shows that to stop COVID from spreading we need herd immunity about 90%, not 70% as required for many other infectious diseases we’re already used to. Therefore, to provide Almaty with safety we need 1.3 million citizens out of two million people who live here permanently to get vaccinated. If we do so, the city would be ready for any new coronavirus wave in the future,» he said.

Now, the authorities are trying to find out who hasn’t yet received his or her shots.

«Currently, we do analyze all the data available to persuade people individually. We believe it is very important to form herd immunity in the city,» Babakumarov added.

As the mayor’s office press service told the Kursiv edition, the analysis of unvaccinated is aimed to get clear and full information about the number of people who are eligible for vaccination. Once this information is in our hands it will be much easier to manage supplies of vaccines.

According to Zhandarbek Bekshin, a chief sanitary doctor in Almaty, the authorities are going to increase the reach of the vaccination campaign by adding students aged from 12 to 18. A new vaccine produced by Pfizer has already been approved for children in the U.S. The vaccine has to be delivered to Kazakhstan this month with 160,000 doses shipped to Almaty.

Some vaccination centers in Almaty had reported a shortage of Sputnik V. That forced the local health system to start gathering data from all such centers for better redistribution of doses.

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