MINSK, 25 October (BelTA) – We aim to inoculate at least 60% of the population against COVID-19, Belarusian First Deputy Healthcare Minister Yelena Bogdan said in an interview with the ONT TV channel, BelTA has learned.
"People have heeded our calls and actively joined the vaccination campaign. Pregnant women and nursing mothers also get vaccinated. Some regions are already approaching the mark of 35%. We have set ourselves an intermediate goal of 40%, as originally recommended by the WHO, but we aim to cover at least 60% of the population," Yelena Bogdan said.
According to her, the pace of vaccination is increasing daily. "Moreover, we are already starting revaccination, since medical workers were the first to be vaccinated in January and the vaccination of the population started in March-April," the first deputy minister said.
“Vaccination does not protect against the disease, but it does protect against the severity of the disease,” Yelena Bogdan stressed. She emphasized that pregnant women need to get vaccinated as well. “In the ongoing wave of the pandemic we can see that our pregnant patients get sick much more severely than they did during the first wave. The damage to the lungs is rapid. It is vital to get vaccinated, it is better to do it before pregnancy. If a couple are planning extracorporeal methods, vaccination is a must,” the representative of the Healthcare Ministry said.
Yelena Bogdan also mentioned the work on the Belarusian vaccine against COVID-19. “We have a clear schedule. We have already worked the vaccine out. The initial stage of trials is underway. This is a very complex process. We need to prove that the vaccine is effective and safe. We also need to develop capacities to scale up the production of the vaccine,” she said.