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Armenia To Import More COVID-19 Vaccines


UKRAINE -- A medical worker shows a vial with the Chinese-developed CoronaVac vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a clinic in Kyiv, April 15, 2021

Armenia will receive soon fresh batches of coronavirus vaccines even though most of its residents are still in no rush to take them, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Gayane Sahakian, the deputy director of the Armenian Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said they will be delivered by COVAX Facility, a global vaccine-sharing scheme supported by the World Health Organization.

Sahakian did not specify the volume of the upcoming deliveries. She said only that the Armenian government will import different types of vaccines, including the CoronaVac jab manufactured by the Chinese company Sinovac.

COVAX already airlifted 24,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to Yerevan on March 28. Armenia also received 43,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in the following weeks.

The Armenian Ministry of Health launched its vaccination campaign on April 13, initially targeting only frontline workers, seniors and people suffering from chronic diseases.

Armenia - Gayane Sahakian, the deputy director of the Armenian Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at a news conference in Yerevan, April 28, 2021
Armenia - Gayane Sahakian, the deputy director of the Armenian Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at a news conference in Yerevan, April 28, 2021

Sahakian said just over 2,000 Armenians making up less than 0.1 percent of the country’s population have been vaccinated so far. She seemed to downplay the slow pace of the vaccination, saying that the daily number of people getting AstraZeneca or Sputnik V shots is growing by around 5 percent.

“No serious health problems have been registered among vaccinated people,” the official told a news conference.

In an apparent effort to speed up the vaccination campaign, Health Minister Anahit Avanesian allowed medical workers late last week to administer AstraZeneca shots to all people willing to take them. Avanesian said earlier that the use-by date of the first batch of the vaccine supplied by COVAX is May 31.

The lack of public interest in the vaccination contrasts with a continuing high rate of coronavirus infections in the South Caucasus nation.

The Ministry of Health said on Wednesday morning that 808 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past day. It also reported 13 new deaths caused by the disease.

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