Vaccination in the South Caucasus: Azerbaijan is at the forefront; Georgia and Armenia are outsiders
The absence or delay of vaccination against coronavirus anywhere in the world could lead to the spread of new types of infection on the planet and nullify the effectiveness of existing vaccines, said WHO Director General Tedros Adan Ghebreyesus. According to him, if vaccination is not carried out in some places or is delayed, they will become a field for the multiplication of new varieties of coronavirus, and the vaccines used may become useless. In the South Caucasus, this seems to be realized only in Azerbaijan, where vaccination is in full swing. In Georgia and Armenia, it has not actually started yet.
The Georgian Ministry of Health does not name a specific date when the first vaccination will be given in the country. The problem is that at first the vaccines chosen by Georgian officials are difficult to transport and store - they need expensive refrigerators that provide temperatures down to minus 80 degrees, and there are very few of them in Georgia. Now they say that mass vaccinations will take place in the summer or early fall. Experts associate the delay in vaccination with ineffective actions of the authorities. Against this background, the plan announced by the government to vaccinate 60% of the population by the end of the year is unattainable.
Today, there is even no exact data on which vaccine will be used. They will probably be the British AstraZeneca and the American Pfizer. Health Minister Yekaterina Tikaradze says: “At this stage, we are talking about the Pfizer vaccine, which does not exclude that other vaccines will be added in the near future. In particular, we expect our citizens to have access to AstraZeneca. There is not enough information about the Chinese vaccine and it is difficult to talk about guarantees. Therefore, the Ministry of Health is definitely not considering this vaccine. " These statements are contradicted by the position of Tengiz Tsertsvadze, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology, who claims that one of the five Chinese vaccines has a rather high world rating.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in Georgia, 268,502 people have been infected with the coronavirus (147 in the last day). Died 3447 people (over the last day 12).
In Armenia, the situation is even more strange - the commission of the Ministry of Health approved three vaccines against coronavirus - Sputnik V, AstraZeneca and Pfizer. Several vaccinations have already been made, but only at the expense of doses donated by Russia. A small consignment of Sputnik V was brought back by the Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko during his visit to Armenia in November. The first to be vaccinated were doctors, including the then Minister of Health of Armenia Arsen Torosyan. By the way, Torosyan's departure from the ministerial post is associated with the fact that Armenia has suffered the most from the coronavirus in Eurasia, if not in the world. The authorities failed to explain to the public the severity of the pandemic, which led to a sharp increase in mortality.
One way or another, vaccinations are planned to begin in March. However, it is likely to be paid. The price is still unknown. Armenia’s new health minister, Anahit Avanesyan, says that the vaccine on a "private basis" should be available in Armenia, and those people who are not included in the state-guaranteed groups have the opportunity to get vaccinated.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 170,506 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Armenia (104 over the last day). Died 3167 people (in the last 24 hours - three).
Against the background of the two neighboring republics, the situation with vaccinations in Azerbaijan looks encouraging. Actually, vaccination is already in full swing here. As of February 23, more than two hundred thousand people have been vaccinated in Azerbaijan. While people from 50 years and older are vaccinated. Moreover, the registration for vaccination is carried out online. Everything is simple and clear - you can select the vaccination point, date, time and enter your mobile phone number. This number receives a message that the registration has been completed - you are welcome. You can also make an appointment by phone.
They are vaccinated in Azerbaijan with the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac from the Sinovac company. The awareness of the need for vaccination in the country is also high. Reputable doctors are vaccinated and tell people about it, including on social networks. The grafted professor of the Azerbaijan Medical University, Adil Geybulla, writes: “Today I was vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Educational-Surgical Building of the Azerbaijan Medical University on schedule - with an interval of 28 days. and more important than treatment. "
Since the beginning of the pandemic in Azerbaijan, 233,201 people have been infected with the coronavirus (over the last day 72). Died 3202 people (in the last day - four).