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14 October 2021, 13:42

WHO wants Belarus to join COVAX initiative

Hans Kluge
Hans Kluge

MINSK, 14 October (BelTA) - WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge hopes that Belarus will join COVAX – the initiative working for global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. He made the statement as he talked to reporters after the meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 14 October, BelTA informs.

Speaking about the situation with the spread of coronavirus in the world and in the region, he deemed it necessary to ensure wide availability of vaccines for the population. “This will guarantee additional trust from the population,” he believes.

“I mentioned it at the meeting with the head of state. I would like Belarus to join COVAX,” Hans Kluge said.

Speaking about vaccination, the WHO official said he shares the position of the Belarusian president that there should not be any punishment for people who do not want to get vaccinated. “However, additional stimuli are needed to encourage people to get vaccinated. It is necessary to work with social groups and look for leaders. It is necessary to arrange the process of communication with them directly,” he said.

According to Hans Kluge, another important aspect is the necessity to ramp up the production of vaccines, and Belarus has a rather high potential for that.

The WHO official deems it necessary to increase the scope of vaccinated persons. He acknowledged that there is the so-called vaccine skepticism in certain countries. People's fear can be understood as COVID-19 vaccines were produced within a very short period of time. “However, one should remember that they were developed in accordance with strict norms. The vaccines truly save lives,” Hans Kluge stressed.

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