MINSK, 4 October (BelTA) – Vaccinations are an important tool to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, Belarus' Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko told reporters as he visited Minsk Children's Infectious Diseases Hospital on 4 October, BelTA has learned.
“We studied how the children's infectious diseases hospital is operating in the current conditions. By the way, not only mothers whose children are infected with COVID-19 are here. Some of the beds were re-purposed to treat adults. Many patients with whom we talked told us that they had planned to get a vaccine but had failed to do it early enough. Therefore, once again I want to encourage all residents of our country to go get a vaccine in order to save themselves, their relatives and friends, coworkers. The vaccine will help them resist the virus,” Igor Petrishenko said.
He emphasized that Belarus has enough vaccines now. “The vaccination rate is nearing a quarter of Belarus' population. Given the fact that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in younger adults, we are actively vaccinating our students. We will take all necessary measures to minimize negative consequences of this infection and, most importantly, to build herd immunity,” the deputy prime minister noted.
According to him, in order to effectively combat COVID-19, at least 70-75% of the population must be vaccinated. “Yet, it is better to strive for maximum coverage and vaccinate 100% of the adult population. Then we will see how the virus behaves in children. If the vaccines we are working on now are approved for children, we, like other countries, will expand the vaccination coverage,” Igor Petrishenko noted.
In addition, Belarusian researchers are actively working on a domestic vaccine. “I think we will be able to roll out our own vaccine within the specified time frame,” the deputy prime minister added.