Armenia lines up for future coronavirus vaccine
The Armenian Ministry of Health is already positioning the country to receive a future coronavirus vaccine as quickly as possible, Health Minister Arsen Torosyan announced on July 2 during a government meeting.
There is still no vaccine against the coroanvirus, however the Ministry of Health is already negotiating with several manufacturers and organizations that plan to distribute a vaccine should trials and studies prove successful.
When will vaccines will be available?
Torosyan said there are more than 100 different coronavirus vaccines being developed in different clinics all over the world, and 20 of them have already passed two stages of clinical trials and look promising. In total, there are only three stages of testing the vaccine must pass, says Torosyan.
He made this statement the day before he met with the heads of the American company Moderna, which is also developing a vaccine against coronavirus. The co-founder of this biotech company is a businessman and philanthropist with Armenian heritage, Noubar Afeyan.
Moderna began vaccine trials in March. In May, the company announced that the clinical trials were successful. CEO Stefan Bansel said:
“The Moderna team is working expediently to begin the third phase of vaccine trials in July and, if they are successful, to apply for licensing.”
Torosyan believes that “this vaccine is one of the most likely candidates.”
However, in addition to direct negotiations with manufacturers, the ministry is also making arrangements to receive the vaccine through WHO and UNICEF, “who will try to purchase the vaccines for many countries to ensure equal distribution.”
Torosyan says there is a risk that many countries will immediately purchase large volumes of drugs before production even begins. As a result, other countries will receive the vaccine much later.
“Therefore, it is very important to get a place at the front of the line,” the minister explains.
Vaccines will most likely be ready at the end of 2020 or at the beginning of 2021:
“We’ll have more accurate information in early fall, when we see the summary of the preliminary results. But the fact that this is happening, and that we will be able to return to our normal lives is something to be happy about.”
Coronavirus in Armenia
Every day, there are hundreds of new cases. On July 2 alone, 593 new cases were reported. In total, the country has 26,658 coronavirus cases.
From March 1 to June 26, 248 doctors, 510 nurses, and 191 paramedics became infected with coronavirus. One of them has passed away.
In total, 459 people have died from coronavirus in the country since the beginning of the outbreak.
In light of these statistics, the commandant’s office continues to demand that citizens comply with new rules of conduct: wearing masks, maintain social distance, and limiting contact with other people. The country declared a state of emergency on March 16, which will be in effect until July 13, if it is not renewed again.
The Armenian Prime Minister is actively urging citizens to follow anti-epidemic requirements. Immediately after the minister’s report on the vaccine development process, Nikol Pashinyan once again spoke about the need to redouble efforts against the spread of the virus:
“My drives through the streets of the capital showed me that some are wearing masks that are very thin, practically just a net. Some, as soon as they see the flashing lights of my car, begin to raise the mask up over their nose from under their chin. I don’t understand why they do this: you don’t wear a mask just for me, the government or the police, only to lower it when we pass…
Many will be cured, of course, but each of us, by not following the rules, in all likelihood, is condemning another to death. There is no guarantee that it will not be you yourself, or a member of your family. The rules are clear, their effectiveness has been proven, and they must be followed.”