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16 August 2021, 10:08

Belarus to get million doses of China’s COVID-19 vaccine in August

MINSK, 16 August (BelTA) – A million doses of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Belarus in August, Deputy Healthcare Minister – Chief Sanitary Inspector of Belarus Aleksandr Tarasenko told the STV TV channel, BelTA informs.

“We are actively working on it in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy. Therefore, our plans will soon become a reality. We expect this to happen this month,” Aleksandr Tarasenko said. He added that this will be the Sinopharm vaccine that was previously delivered to Belarus as humanitarian aid.

When asked whether Belarusians will have several vaccines to choose from, the deputy minister noted: “We will try to give Belarusians such an opportunity. We will consider vaccines from other manufacturers as well,” he said. However, much will depend on the quality, price, and storage conditions.

As far as the herd immunity of Belarusians is concerned, a study conducted together with the Saint Petersburg Pasteur Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in May suggests that on average 38% of the country’s population developed immunity. The study will be held again in late August in order to assess how the situation has changed over the three months taking into account the immunization campaign.

However, to get a vaccine or not is up to every person to decide, Aleksandr Tarasenko noted. “Of course, doctors can recommend and even insist on getting a jab, but the decision rests with every individual. Yet, taking advantage of this opportunity, I would like to urge people to get a shot,” he said.

At the moment, there are about 50,000 people on the waiting list to get a vaccine in outpatient healthcare facilities nationwide. “This means that people are actively signing up for vaccinations,” the deputy minister added.
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