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15 March 2021, 17:26

Belarus begins COVID-19 vaccinations with Chinese shots

MINSK, 15 March (BelTA) – Belarus has started vaccinations against COVID-19 using the Chinese vaccine, BelTA has learned.

On 19 February, 100,000 shots of the Chinese SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated, made by Sinopharm were delivered to Belarus from Beijing.

According to Belarusian Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich, the vaccination campaign kicked off in Polyclinic No.39, one of the best polyclinics in Minsk. Healthcare workers will receive the COVID-19 vaccine first. Employees of the Healthcare Ministry will also get their shots on 15 March. Mass vaccination with the Chinese vaccine will start in April. Eligible for vaccination will be people aged 16 and older, provided they have no contraindications.

Since its delivery to Belarus, the vaccine has undergone all the necessary safety and quality procedures, Dmitry Pinevich added.

This batch of the vaccine was donated to Belarus by China, China's Ambassador to Belarus Xie Xiaoyong noted. According to him, this is another step in furtherance of the agreements between the two heads of state and another way to respond to the pandemic. Such assistance is a symbol of the friendly relations between China and Belarus.

This Chinese vaccine is supplied to more than 40 countries. It has proven safe: no serious side effects have been registered. It showed 86% efficacy in trials, which is confirmed by the countries who are already using the vaccine, and is 100% effective in preventing severe cases. Another advantage is that the vaccine can be transported and stored in the temperature between +2ºC and +8ºC.

“We are happy that our Belarusian friends will use the Chinese vaccine. We hope that it will contribute to the fight against the pandemic and will help protect lives and health of Belarusians,” Ambassador Xie Xiaoyong added.

Specialists are currently looking into localizing the production of the Chinese vaccine in Belarus. According to Dmitry Pinevich, the vaccine might be produced in the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone.

Photos by Andrei Pokumeiko

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China's Ambassador to Belarus Xie Xiaoyong and Belarusian Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich
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China's Ambassador to Belarus Xie Xiaoyong, the first patient to get the vaccine Mikhail Petrovich, and Belarusian Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich
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