China's Sinopharm vaccine approved in Georgia but public reluctant to vaccinate
Georgia starts using Chinese Sinopharm vaccine
With more than 71,000 medical professionals working in Georgia, to this day only 5,000 people have been vaccinated against coronavirus, said Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the Center for Disease Control. Gamkrelidze added that the Chinese Sinopharm will now be used to innoculate teachers, police officers, ministries, and other employees of state organizations.
The vaccination process in Georgia is rather slow. By April 24, only 35,000 people have been vaccinated in a country with a population of nearly 4 million people and the reason for this is mistrust towards the vaccination program and not the vaccine shortage.
There are currently two types of vaccines available in Georgia – Pfizer, and AstraZeneca. Two weeks ago, 100,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine were imported, although it has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization.
“For the program to work efficiently, two to three thousand vaccinations should now be administered daily, and then the number should gradually increase. By July, we must administer at least 10-12 thousand vaccinations in order to achieve the goal of vaccinating 60% of the population by December”, said Amiran Gamkrelidze.
The registration for the Sinopharm vaccine in Georgia will be open on April 27, and the vaccine will be used regardless of whether receives official approval of the World Health Organization.
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Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Georgia. Over the last 34 hours, 1,250 new cases of infection have been identified and 15 people have died. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 302,785 people have been infected and 4,007 of them have died. Georgia is 24th in the world by the number of infections per million population and 11th by the number of new infections per day.
Georgia closed borders and halted all tourism business in March 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, more than 9 million foreign visitors visited the country, and tourism contributed a total of $ 3.2 billion to the Georgian economy.
Georgia’s economy contracted by 6.1% in 2020, a record decline over the last 26 years, as per the National Statistical Office data.