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13 October 2021, 14:41

Russia upholds production of COVID-19 vaccines in Belarus

MINSK, 13 October (BelTA) – The Russian Ministry of Health supports the production of COVID-19 vaccines in Belarus, Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko told reporters on the sidelines of the 34th session of the CIS Healthcare Cooperation Council that is underway in Minsk on 13-14 October, BelTA has learned.

“The work to launch a full-cycle production of vaccines is already underway. We actively support this effort. The Russian Direct Investment Fund promotes Russian vaccines abroad. We see active interaction. The Sputnik Light vaccine is the next step. It will be used to re-vaccinate those who were vaccinated or infected with the coronavirus before. We see that all countries are following this path today. There is scientific evidence suggesting that re-vaccination is necessary,” Mikhail Murashko said.

According to him, new approaches to disease prevention are in the works. “We are now completing a study on the use of influenza vaccines and COVID vaccines in the same period. I think that we will publish the outcomes of the research in the near future. It is very important for the population to realize that COVID is not a myth. Patients in intensive care are a reality. All this can be prevented. Vaccination is the way to save lives today. Therefore, healthcare professionals throughout the CIS are promoting and encouraging vaccinations. Patients should come to understand the importance of getting a shot, and healthcare workers should save lives by means of vaccinations,” the minister said.

The 34th session of the CIS Healthcare Cooperation Council is taking place in Minsk on 13-14 October.

Members of the council are healthcare ministers and chief state sanitary inspectors. Attending the session are also WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, and UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Alexander Goliusov. Hans Kluge is expected to share his views on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of emergency preparedness and response.

“The meeting of the CIS healthcare ministers is centered around the most burning issue - countering infectious diseases. But this is not the only thing that we are discussing today. It is also very important to coordinate our efforts on non-communicable diseases, on a number of emergency situations. We are discussing blood products, transfusion medicine, information exchange and economic aspects in public health. The last two years showed that the healthcare system must be resilient, it must quickly adapt to new challenges,” Mikhail Murashko stressed.

The CIS healthcare ministers are set to work out the strategy for the near future. “The issue of vaccination certificates is very relevant. This matter should be addressed in order to ensure unobstructed communication and movement. We need to come to grips with this issue. It is crucial to develop approaches to prevention and treatment. Economic aspects of healthcare systems were included in the agenda for the first time. This implies assessment of technologies, compulsory medical care programs. This is also very important today,” the Russian minister added.

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