MINSK, 19 October (BelTA) – I have never been against vaccination and consider it important, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to discuss the situation with COVID-19 in Belarus on 19 October, BelTA has learned.
“I would like to reiterate: despite my negative attitude towards restricting people (masks and so on), vaccines are important. I have never been against vaccination. Otherwise, I would not have negotiated the Sputnik vaccine with Putin,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
He pointed out that at that time Russia had just started supplying the vaccine for its own needs and had already supplied it to Belarus. “Then I asked for this vaccine to be produced in our country. Later we came to the conclusion that we would live with this COVID-19 and we need our own vaccine. That is why we are already importing equipment to launch a full-cycle production of our own vaccine. We have already made this vaccine; we have it in tubes. We need to produce it, but such production needs modern equipment. We are equipping our own plant to produce vaccines. I could not however call myself an absolutely convinced person regarding these projects. Anyway, I am not an expert. I cannot forbid you to vaccinate people. You however will not force them to do this, either,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
In this regard, the head of state asked how effective the vaccines developed to combat the Wuhan strain were against the new types of the virus. The matter pertains to the Belarusian vaccine as well. “Yesterday we had the South African one, then it was the British one, now we have the Indian one, and so on. What vaccines are we to use? The vaccine, which was purchased during the ‘Wuhan period'. I do not quite understand: specialists say that the virus mutates and we have to adapt the vaccine to it. Have you made any progress on it within a year and a half? How effective is the ‘Wuhan' vaccine against the Indian strain? These things are very important,” the president said.